Three people were arrested in Mpumalanga on Monday for allegedly pretending to be “Covid-19 officials on deployment” and using fake Covid-19 insignia on their vehicles.
According to police spokesperson Brigadier Leonard Hlathi, police received information about two vehicles branded with Covid-19 signage which were allegedly used to commit crime.
After following up, the police tracked down a VW Polo sedan and Toyota Hilux bakkie which matched the description they were given.
“Upon stopping the said vehicles, police found three occupants pretending to be Covid-19 officials on deployment.
“They then found fake permits inside and further discovered that the suspects were attempting to cross the border with the intention [of collecting] dagga from a neighbouring country,” Hlathi said.
The three were arrested and charged with the contravention of lockdown regulations for moving between provinces.
“Police cannot rule out the possibility of adding charges relating to fraud as they impersonated Covid-19 officials,” Hlathi added.
Their vehicles were confiscated for further investigation.
They are expected to appear in the Chief Albert Luthuli Magistrate’s Court later on Tuesday.
“The management of the SAPS has welcomed the arrest of the three and have sent a stern warning to those who think they will take chances during this lockdown period that law enforcement agencies will deal decisively with them,” said Hlathi.
Mpumalanga police commissioner Lieutenant-General Mondli Zuma said the “astuteness of the police was magnificent”.