Members of the public urged to be vigilant against bogus police people soliciting money from unsuspecting victims of crime

KING WILLIAM'S TOWN - The South African Police Service would like to warn all the people in the Eastern Cape against the emerging scam and deception that has led to people falling victims in the hands of the perpetrators. The organisation took notice of this pattern in the recent weeks after receiving concerns from various individuals within the communities and police themselves. It is a known fact that police have a responsibility to investigate all serious crimes involving our communities, this includes effecting arrests of those accused of the alleged crimes. As a matter of procedure, police are only accounting to complainants. In other words, discussions, enquiries and consultations only take place exclusively between the investigating officer and complainants. 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.

The SAPS 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 by the SAPS. 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 like they are bringing 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. 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.

It must be recorded that it is not the practice of the SAPS detectives to request funds from the complainants or relatives of those arrested for committing crimes in exchange for the services rendered. Only the courts of law are authorised to release the arrested persons under regulated and stipulated conditions. The SAPS 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.

A call is therefore made to any member of the community receiving these calls from these bogus people to immediately inform the Police at 08 600 10 111. Their identities will be strictly kept confidential.

Source: South African Police Service

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