Human trafficking suspect slapped with more charges after trying to bribe Hawks officer

Published Jun 9, 2023


Cape Town - A suspected drug dealer and human trafficker is expected to appear in the Pretoria Central Magistrate’s Court on a further charge of corruption on Friday.

Hawks spokesperson Colonel Philani Nkwalase said the suspect was linked to attempts made to lure a Hawks detective to overlook overwhelming evidence on his previous charge.

He said the suspect was initially arrested in Sunnyside, Pretoria, for charges of trafficking in persons and drug dealing in December 2021.

“The Hawks investigation revealed that the suspect while in custody, reportedly colluded with his two brothers and wife, Emeka Ogoke, 52, Ikeani Okechukwu, 36, and Rethabile Ikeani, 34, to pay a gratification fee to secure his release,” Nkwalase said.

He said a sting operation conducted on August 31, 2022, was executed by members of the Hawks’ Serious Corruption Investigation (SCI), along with members from the Pretoria-based Serious Organised Crime Investigation (SOCI).

“This resulted in the arrest of the trio at a restaurant in Arcadia, Pretoria, attempting to give the Hawks' detective officer a gratuity amount of R20 000. The other accused were released on R2 000 bail on September 1, 2022,” Nkwalase said.

He said the suspect, who is currently a trial-awaiting detainee, was additionally charged by the Hawks’ SCI team last week.

“He will be appearing along with his alleged accomplices on Friday, June 9,” Nkwalase said.