The Hawks arrested a prominent Middelburg businessman on Thursday after he allegedly tried to bribe a police officer to release his impounded vehicle

The 25-year-old man was initially arrested in Nelspruit in September last year and charged with fraud, corruption and the possession of an unlicensed firearm and had been out on R200 000 bail.

According to provincial police spokesperson Brigadier Hangwani Mulaudzi, his latest arrest emanates from allegations that he attempted to corrupt a senior police official in Mpumalanga to get his impounded motor vehicle to be released and also to make his initial case disappear.

The suspect allegedly paid R50 000 as a down payment and on Thursday he added a further R70 000 for the release of his vehicle and for the Nelspruit docket to disappear.

“Processes to forfeit the R120 000, including the luxury vehicle the suspect was utilising during the commission of the crime, are already underway,” Mulaudzi said.

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The national head of the Directorate for Priority Crime Investigation (DPCI), Lieutenant General Godfrey Lebeya, commended the swift action of the investigating team.

“I would like to commend the members of the DPCI who resisted the temptation by those who want to corrupt them. We shall be working toward forfeiting the money paid as gratification,” said Lebeya said.

The businessman is expected to appear in the Middelburg Magistrate’s Court on Friday.