‘Conman’ nabbed

2015-05-12 06:00
A 61-year-old man believed to be part of a traffic fine scam has been arrested in Mitchell’s Plain after a six-year-long investigation.

SAmantha Lee

A 61-year-old man believed to be part of a traffic fine scam has been arrested in Mitchell’s Plain after a six-year-long investigation. PHOTO FOR ILLUSTRATION: SAmantha Lee

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A60-year-old Mitchell’s Plain man, believed to be linked to a traffic fine scam, has been arrested.

After complaints of the scam were received in 2008, the City of Cape Town’s special investigation unit (SIU) launched an investigation. After almost seven years on his trail it resulted in his arrest.

JP Smith, mayoral committee member for safety and security, says the suspect had been arrested previously but was released on bail and his whereabouts were unknown.

The man, whom the City refers to as a “serial con artist who impersonates a traffic officer”, is said to have extorted thousands of rands in payment for traffic fines.

The suspect was arrested at an address in Mitchell’s Plain on Friday on an outstanding warrant of arrest. The SIU had been making periodic inspections of the multiple addresses linked to the man, says Smith. He was finally nabbed on Friday morning at one of these addresses.

It is reported that the suspect would approach residents who had outstanding traffic fines, claiming that they could make payment for the fines to him and would then receive a receipt.

Smith says: “These receipts would not be produced and residents realised they had been conned when they started receiving warrants for fines they thought had been paid.”

The SIU is investigating whether the con-man may have had an accomplice within traffic services, so that swift action can be taken.

Two people have come forward to lay charges at the Grassy Park and Mitchell’s Plain police stations.

“In most cases, people do not want to lay charges because they’re embarrassed that they have been caught in a scam,” Smith says.

The man had already been arrested for the same offence: “This suspect has served time in prison for the same crime on previous occasions and I sincerely hope that he faces the full might of the law when this case goes before court in order to serve as a sufficient deterrent this time around,” says Smith in a statement.

“I want to remind residents that there are no shortcuts in terms of traffic infringements. It is an offence to offer money to any official for any favour or benefit which is done contrary to the policies of the City.”

Smith says it is a very serious offence to impersonate a traffic officer in terms of the Road Traffic Act.


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