Man arrested for posing as Hawks investigator, running extortion racket

2019-05-27 14:14
Hawks vehicle (File, News24)

Hawks vehicle (File, News24)

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A 40-year-old man has been arrested by the Directorate for Priority Crime Investigation (DPCI), commonly known as the Hawks, for allegedly masquerading as an investigator for the directorate.

This came after a two-month probe, following complaints from different government officials and businesspeople that the suspect was promising to destroy case dockets or files that they were associated with, in exchange for huge amounts of money.

"Coincidentally, most of the victims who were approached are [the] subject of various investigations by Hawks. Among the victims was a businessperson from Johannesburg. He was allegedly contacted by a Major General Moodley of the Hawks from Bloemfontein, Free State," Hawks spokesperson Brigadier Hangwani Mulaudzi said.

The man was arrested in Honeydew, Johannesburg, on Friday.

The man's modus operandi entailed calling and sending text messages to unsuspecting subjects of Hawks investigations, and extorting varying sums of money for allegedly destroying case files, Mulaudzi said.

The victims fell for the scam, as the man even had a WhatsApp status that had an image of a Hawks logo, and he provided genuine bank accounts where money would be deposited.

He will appear in the Krugersdorp Magistrate's Court on Monday, on charges of extortion and impersonating a police official, said Mulaudzi.

He added that other similar investigations were at an advanced stage and that arrests were expected soon.

Read more on:    hawks  |  johannesburg  |  crime  |  fraud

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