Fraud syndicate operating from eMalahleni police cells

MPUMALANGA police have uncovered a fraud syndicate operating from the eMalahleni police station holding cells.

MPUMALANGA police have uncovered a fraud syndicate operating from the eMalahleni police station holding cells.

This was after a 24-year-old Mpumalanga man pretending to be a cop was arrested on Friday for attempting to solicit a bribe from a woman whose husband is in custody on a rape charge.

According to police spokesperson Captain Leonard Hlathi, the suspect called the woman and promised to make the case against her husband "disappear" if she paid him R6500.

Hlathi said the woman alerted the police and a trap was set for the bogus cop.

"Police gave the woman the cash and it was arranged for the two to meet at the Witbank magistrate's court. The suspect arrived as arranged, unaware that he was surrounded by cops.

"The woman gave him the money and he promised her that her husband would be home soon.

"Police pounced at that instant and found the money in his underwear," he said.

Hlathi said it was later discovered that the suspect was in collusion with a friend who is being detained at the eMalahleni police station for fraud.

He said the detained man intimidated suspects into giving him contact details of relatives so that he could pass them on to his accomplice outside.

"The one who is outside calls the relatives of the new detainee and promises to get rid of the case against their arrested relative at a fee."

He said the bogus policeman, who took money from the woman, has been charged with theft under false pretences and impersonating a police officer. His accomplice in custody was charged with a second count of fraud.

The duo will appear in the eMalahleni magistrate's court today.

Hlathi has urged any other people who have been conned in this way to report the cases at the nearest police station, or to contact him or Captain Richard Nkwanyane.

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