Bogus detective scam doing rounds, warn EC cops
A scam involving bogus police detectives being paid money to drop criminal cases and release those in custody, has emerged in the Eastern Cape.
According to the police, five cases were under investigation in the province since late 2018.
News of the scam comes after a warning was issued by the police on Thursday morning.
Police spokesperson Brigadier Tembinkosi Kinana said the police had seen several cases reported in recent weeks.
“The police has learnt with serious concern reports of unknown criminal elements masquerading as police detectives and soliciting large sums of money from unsuspecting relatives of those arrested.
"These faceless criminals are phoning relatives of the arrested suspects whom they know are desperately seeking help to have their loved ones or friends released from police custody. These heartless and unscrupulous individuals pretend to bring solutions to cases that are being investigated by the police. They use false names and ranks to introduce themselves as senior police officers who are bringing information in exchange for money,” he said.
“In some occasions, they use police member’s names to authenticate their calls and create false expectations as if they are able to get the suspects released by the police, if relatives were to pay a particular amount of money.”
Kinana said the scams have been recorded in several districts across the province.
“Only the courts of law are authorised to release the arrested persons under regulated and stipulated conditions. The police is not a money-making organisation, but a government institution which renders its services free of charge and without conditions or strings attached.
"When people lay charges or complaints at a particular police station, they do so willingly and voluntarily without any expectation of whatever nature on the part of the police. This therefore explains why people should disregard any calls for payment in exchange for information, false promises or services rendered."
Kinana went on to say that discussions, enquiries and consultations are only done exclusively between the investigating officer and complainants in criminal cases.
“This therefore means that no third person may be involved or communicate on behalf of the complainants, relatives or accused persons other than their legal representatives,” he said.
Kinana said that while no arrests had yet been made, leads were being followed up.