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Three arrested for fraud and impersonating a police officer

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Two male suspects aged 31 and 28, and a woman suspect aged 53, were arrested on Monday, 20 March 2017 at 13:00 at Port Shepstone Central Business District. The three suspects allegedly approached a 74-year-old pensioner in town when she was busy depositing money at an ATM. According to information, the suspects pretended to be detectives who were investigating certain cases and told her to get into the car with them. They also told her that she must go with them to her house in Umtwalume to fetch her money or she will lose it. The suspects then drove with her in a silver Toyota Etios to a shopping centre in Kingsway, where they managed to withdraw money from her bank account. In the meantime, police in Port Shepstone were notified by relatives that the victim was seen with these suspects and did not return home with her vehicle, an LDV after she left home to Port Shepstone. Local police began looking for her vehicle and found it parked outside the bank in Port Shepstone CBD. The description of the suspects’ vehicle was also circulated.

Shortly afterwards, the suspects’ vehicle stopped outside the bank and the driver and the victim walked towards the bank. The police apprehended the driver and also arrested the other two passengers in the vehicle. When the vehicle was searched, several envelopes with a large amount of money was found hidden under the seat. There were also envelopes containing folded newspapers. All three suspects were detained and the vehicle confiscated. They will face charges of fraud, impersonating of a police officer, kidnapping and possession of stolen property. They will appear in court soon. Detective in Port Shepstone are also investigating more cases with a similar modus operandi and will establish if the suspects are linked to these cases.

The KwaZulu-Natal Acting Provincial Commissioner, Major General Bheki Langa praise the police officers involved in the arrest of these suspects. ‘I also thanked the community members for alerting the police about suspicious criminal activities in their area done by the suspects. Relatives must at all times try and assist the pensioners when collecting their pension money as they become victims of crimes,’ he said.