Bogus traffic cops busted in Victoria Road

2012-11-12 00:00

TWO men were arrested yesterday for allegedly posing as provincial traffic policemen and demanding money from motorists in Victoria Road in Pietermaritzburg.

The MEC for Transport, Community Safety and Liaison, Willies Mchunu, welcomed the arrest of the two men and said their actions undermined the work and integrity of the province’s traffic officers.

“It is unacceptable that people are committing crime and subjecting motorists to this kind of unnecessary trauma.

“This is the worst form of crime. I commend those motorists who took it upon themselves to report this matter to the police. I have no doubt that this will send a strong lesson. Our police will always identify themselves in a full uniform with name tags to avoid any opportunistic elements on the road,” said Mchunu.

He urged motorists to be vigilant and to report such criminal matters to the police.

Department of Transport spokesperson Kwanele Ncalane said police had received a tip-off about the illegal operation from a member of the public. When they arrived at the scene they found the two men were not traffic officers. It was alleged that the men were found in possession of cash believed to have been collected illegally during the operation.

Police spokesperson Lieutenant Joey Jeevan confirmed the arrests. However, she said no money had been recovered from the suspects by the police.

She said the accused, who are in their twenties, were “shabby and shoddy” in appearance.

One was dressed in full RTI uniform and shoes while the other had on RTI officer’s trousers and an army jacket. The RTI uniform bore a name tag.

Members of the public reported to police that the two men were trying to flag down motorists in Victoria Road at about 6.30 am.

“It was immediately obvious to the police that these were not traffic officers and they were taken in for questioning.

“They could not give a satisfactory explanation as to where they got their uniforms or what they were doing there,” she said.

She said the two men have been charged with impersonating traffic officers and are expected to appear in court today.

• ingrido@witness.co.za

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