Hawks arrest six for money-making scam run from inside prison

FILE PICTURE: The Hawks logo. Picture: Gallo Images

The Hawks have arrested six suspects, including a convicted criminal, for allegedly impersonating a police officer in a money-making scam.

The arrests came after an inmate at the Kgoshi Mampuru prison in Pretoria called the Phalaborwa police station in Limpopo and pretended to be a Lieutenant Colonel from the Hawks.

Hawks spokesperson Brigadier Hangwani Mulaudzi said the impersonator told the police official who answered the call about a suspect who was due to appear at the local magistrate’s court.

He asked the officer to contact the suspect’s family and give them his contact details, which the police official then did.

The family contacted the fake cop and were then told to deposit an undisclosed amount of money into a bank account so that the suspect could be released on bail. They were also told the case docket would be destroyed.

Two men and four women were arrested in Brits and Witbank. They will appear in the Phalaborwa Magistrate’s court on Wednesday and face charges of corruption and impersonating police officers.

The convicted criminal involved in the scam is already serving a prison sentence for another crime at the Kgoshi Mampuru. A date has not yet been set for him to appear in court.

This is the second time police have foiled such a scam. Six people who had used the same modus operandi were arrested earlier this year.

According to the Hawks, Margot Polo, Simon Motlhasedi, Rachel Holmes as well as inmates David Mellow, Donald Mahlabathi and Jimmy Moeti were arrested in that case. Polo, Motlhasedi and Holmes are currently out on R1,000 bail, but all six supects will be back in court on Wednesday.

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