An off-duty police officer attached to the ZRP Support Unit is now in hot soup after he illegally released seven deportees who had bribed him with a R1 500 at a quarantine center in the border town.

The state media reported that Webster Mudadisi (31) was busted by his colleagues soon after escorting the group from the facility on Friday.

Mudadisi, who was remanded in custody to May 20 for trial, was not asked to plead to charges of criminal abuse of office as a public officer when he appeared before Beitbridge magistrate, Vavariro Gabi on Saturday.

The court heard that the accused who is currently deployed to Beitbridge quarantine centre was not on duty when he committed the offence.

It is alleged that on May 7, Mudadisi was approached by one man who had been deported from South Africa and was offered R250 to facilitate his escape from quarantine.

The state further alleged that the accused asked the man to mobilise more people who were to pay R250 each to buy their freedom. Mudadisi was then given R1500 to facilitate the release of seven people.

He escorted them out of the quarantine and was intercepted by other police officers who were closely monitoring his movements.

Upon realising that he had been busted, he forcibly stashed the bribe money in one of the deportees’ jacket. The group was interogated and revealed they had paid Mudadisi, who was subsequently arrested and the money was recovered.

state media