Coronavirus: Police caught selling black market alcohol after total ban on sale in South Africa

Two officers also caught escorting trucks loaded with booze

Chiara Giordano
Sunday 12 April 2020 16:08 BST
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Police have been caught selling black market alcohol in South Africa after a total ban on the sale of booze and cigarettes.

The country’s police minister said a ban on all sales of alcohol as part of a coronavirus lockdown had helped lower crime.

But with alcohol shops shut, the country has seen a growing black market for liquor and a wave of attacks on shuttered shops.

In a statement, the police ministry said there have been at least 16 reported instances of burglary and the looting of shops selling alcohol in the Western Cape.

It also revealed police minister Bheki Cele had “noted with concern the alleged involvement of police members in some of the liquor-related crimes”.

Two warrant officers were arrested after they were caught buying alcohol, allegedly for resale, alongside a shop manager and cashier on Thursday, the ministry said.

A further two members of the police in another province were then caught escorting three light pick-up trucks loaded with alcohol the following day.

The ministry said those who undermine the effort to stem the spread of the coronavirus would be found and dealt with decisively.

Additional reporting by Reuters.

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