LMPS launches ‘Roving Courts’ in crackdown on corrupt officers

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MASERU — The Lesotho Mounted Police Services (LMPS) says it is launching “Roving Courts” to speed up investigations into cases involving police and weed itself of corrupt officers.

Police spokesman Masupha Masupha said the courts will be run by a judiciary committee that was set up by the LMPS this month to investigate cases of misconduct within the police.

Masupha said any officer found guilty will be summarily dismissed from the LMPS.

“We want to dismiss police officers involved in criminal offences as they tarnish the image of LMPS,” Masupha said.

He said the courts will reach verdicts within a short period of time so that officers who are found guilty are immediately dismissed from work pending their appearance in normal courts.

“The offenders will still have to appear in courts of law to answer their criminal cases but they will no longer be part of the LMPS,” Masupha said.

“The public will not trust police officers who are implicated in crime or are offenders. We are trying to weed out such personnel from the LMPS.”

The judiciary committee that will run the courts is made up of 45 senior superintendents and sergeants in the LMPS.

Masupha said they set up the Roving Courts to promote and maintain discipline within the LMPS.

He said they were worried by the huge cases of officers who are involved in criminal offences adding this was tarnishing the image of the police.

Masupha told a press conference on Monday that the judiciary committee had already started dealing with some cases in Qacha’s Nek and Leribe districts.

The committee will extend its work to other districts soon.

In the past two weeks alone several police officers have been implicated in a number of criminal activities across the country.

Four police officers based in Maseru last week allegedly burnt R1 million in counterfeit notes after they realised that the net was closing in on them.

It is alleged that three of the police officers burnt the counterfeit notes at Ha Tsolo in Thetsane when they heard that their colleague had been called for questioning.

Masupha said another police officer, Mokhele Pitso, appeared before the Teyateyaneng Magistrates’ Court on February 6 together with his wife after they were allegedly found in possession M23 700 in fake notes.

In a separate incident another police officer, Molahlehi Ntoko, was arrested in Teyateyaneng alongside one woman after they were found in possession of counterfeit South African currency to the value of R900 000.

The woman appeared in the Teyateyaneng Magistrates’ Court where she was fined M30 000 after pleading guilty.

Ntoko appeared in the Maseru Magistrate’s Court where he was remanded in custody.

He is also accused of being involved in an armed robbery that occurred at Boitumelo Complex at Ha Tsosane in 2009.

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