A BOGUS 21-year-old policeman has been arrested in police uniform and in possession of a false police badge.
The culprit had apparently targeted unsuspecting nationals, mostly Mozambicans, illegally crossing the border into South Africa.
Acting on a tip-off the Lebombo border post police patrolled the border fence and saw two men in police uniform taking bribes from Mozambicans.
They then advised the illegals on which route to take to avoid being arrested by the police.
On Tuesday the policemen surprised the two bogus cops but one fled.
The accomplice was arrested and a group of Mozambicans, who had already crossed to SA, crawled back under the fence to their home country.
The arrested man was found in possession of cash from the US, South Africa, Zimbabwe, Bangladesh, Pakistan and Swaziland.
Mpumalanga police spokesperson Captain Leonard Hlathi said it was a serious offence to impersonate a police officer and even worse when this was done to defraud people.
"We are not going to allow people to break the law and will arrest anyone who wears a police uniform illegally," Hlathi said yesterday.
He appealed to residents to help to track the bogus cop who fled.
The arrested man is expected to appear in the Komatipoort magistrate's court today.
The Lebombo border post has seen an influx of foreign nationals, especially Mozambicans, since the 1980s.