Luzuko Pongoma

Luzuko Pongoma

Police believe they are close to breaking a syndicate that has been targeting rich people entering the country through OR Tambo Airport.

In the latest crackdown, police arrested four Turkish nationals for allegedly using fake South African police badges to get their victims to stop before they robbed them.

Police said yesterday that they acted after receiving more than eight complaints about the gang.

Yesterday the men who allegedly terrorised people returning from the airport in the past four months were denied bail at the Johannesburg magistrate's court.

Police believe they have cracked the syndicate after arresting Serhat Deymus, Nagi Guyen, Haros Hamedani and Attnet Verin after they had received eight complaints of robbery from people returning from the airport.

They were arrested carrying fake police badges and charged with armed robbery and impersonating an officer of the law.

The men would allegedly follow their victims from the airport and drive parallel to them.

While driving parallel they allegedly flashed fake police badges and told their victims that they were drug or tourist police and ask to search their cars.

The suspects would then search the belongings of their victims and rob them of their jewellery, laptops and money.

This is not the first group of people to be arrested by the police in connection with robberies targeting people from the airport.

In 2007, four men were arrested in Hillbrow and Yeoville in connection with robbery of people returning from the airport.

In April last year, two men appeared in the Wynberg magistrate's court on four counts of armed robbery.

Some of the robberies include that of Oluremi Obasanjo, wife of former Nigerian president Olusegun Obasanjo who was robbed of R50000.

A South African man who picked up a friend who arrived from Tanzania was robbed of goods and money totalling R15000.

A South African woman was robbed of goods and money amounting to about R667000.

The case was postponed to next week.