‘Health inspector’ scam

2011-03-16 00:00

THE Ugu District Municipality warned this week of a bogus health inspector who is defrauding local businesses.

The unknown man, who goes by the name of Simon Sibiya, has been defrauding local food establishments by posing as a chief health inspector and charging businesses for his “services”.

Over the weeks the Ugu District environmental health services department has been inundated with calls from anxious restaurant owners complaining about shoddy dealings with the purported health inspector.

According to the victims who called in, Sibiya demanded to inspect the their establishments at charges ranging from R180 to R350 cash plus a free meal.

“He also tells people that he develops and delivers posters at a charge of R180.

“When this money is paid to him, he disappears without a trace,” said acting senior manager communications, Lindani Mzotho.

Sibiya becomes very aggressive and threatens to fine the businesses R10 000 if the owners or managers question him.

“It is extremely important to ask whoever comes and claims to have been sent to conduct this service for their formal identification.”

The con man has defrauded a number of businesses in Shelly Centre and Harding and gives out the contact number 076 475 7551 to the victims.

Members of the community and businesses are urged to stay vigilant and not to become victims of this crime as the municipality has only one chief health inspector, Bill Davis.

When Davis conducts a health inspection, he has the appropriate Ugu District Municipality identification and his peace officer’s ID card.

“Any chief health inspectors either from Ugu or the provincial Department of Health and the environmental health practitioners (EHPs) will always produce clearly marked name tags with logos of their organisation or department as well as their peace officer ID cards, which will be produced on request, “said Mzoto.

“If such documentation is not produced, the targeted business should immediately alert the police.”

He added that personnel will never demand payment, as health inspections are done at no cost.

The public can call the Ugu environmental health office at 039 688 3539/3532/5794 and speak to Janine Blackbeard, Bill Davis or Noloyiso Nkqeto for information about the environmental health services and the names of EHPs working in different areas.

The names of provincial EHPs can be checked with Vella Gramoney or Sylvie Balraj at 039 682 1124/5.

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