Shop owner accuses police of stealing his cigarette stock
A Hanover Park shop owner has accused police officers from the Anti-Gang Unit (AGU) for stealing his cigarette stock during the lockdown and says cops are now harassing him for it.The 40-year-old, who asked not to be named, says he got a fright when cops returned two weeks after he reported them and stole another stash of cigarettes and cash.
The man, who has run a store on Hanover Park Avenue for 16 years, says on 13 April, the AGU stormed his store and demanded he open the locked gates.“I was in the shop and they told me to open,” he says.
“They asked me questions and when I tried to answer them, they smacked me and now I have problems hearing in my left ear.“They went to the storeroom and took all the cigarettes I put away because we are not allowed to sell.”
He says the cigarette stash is worth thousands and the shop lost revenue that week as cash was also taken.The confused businessman says he tried to question the officers, but instead they klapped his store assistant and took cash before leaving.
He says the incident was captured on CCTV cameras.“She was a female captain and every time I tried to answer they shouted at me to keep quiet,” the shop owner says.
“They had no warrant or any papers to search my store. I went to Philippi and made a statement.“They took Stuyvesant, Marlboro and other cigarettes and a lot of money.
“I couldn’t understand why they took it because I was not selling. They never arrested me.“I went and reported them because something like this has never happened to me in all the years I have been in Hanover Park.”
Police spokesperson Colonel Andrè Traut confirms a case of assault and malicious damage to property was reported: “The circumstances are being investigated and no one has been arrested as yet.”
Meanwhile, the Independent Police Investigative Directorate could not confirm whether they have received the docket.The owner says no investigator has come to see him, but on Thursday, the same officers returned and robbed him again.
“They came in and the first thing they did was cut the cameras and delete all the footage showing them coming in,” he claims.“But they don’t know the first robbery was already filmed.
“On this footage, you can only see a traffic cop come in the shop and then they take him out.“They came and stole the cigarettes they left behind the first time and cash. I haven’t made a second case.”
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