News agency, Cape Town, South Africa
Saturday February 24th 2018

Bogus cop crooks crooked taxi bosses

Peter Luhanga

Posing as a traffic cop, a Cape Town teenager has been putting thousands of rand in his pocket by taking bribes from taxi bosses in exchange for promises to quash traffic fines and release impounded vehicles.

Taxi owner Cecil Dibela on Friday last week (April 16) said he had paid R2000 to the 19-year-old bogus traffic cop – who was arrested by police on Thursday – after he promised to clear outstanding fines on his taxi and warrants of arrest.

Dibela, who operates his taxis under the Congress for Democratic Taxi Associations (Codeta), said the bogus cop would call taxi bosses and warn them that if they did not pay their outstanding fines their taxi’s would be impounded.

He would then offer to get rid of the fines and arrest warrants, and release vehicles already impounded in exchange for a bribe.

More than 15 taxi operators from different taxi associations had fallen for the scam, yet “none of them had their vans released or their fines cleared”, said Dibela who, in a fine twist of irony, is a retired Metro Cop.

He said the scam worked so well because “every taxi owner has got outstanding fines and or warrants of arrest”.

The bogus cop was eventually bust by the taxi bosses on Thursday after his bluff was called at a payment pickup point at the Khayelitsha Site C petrol station.

“We (taxi bosses) called him to come fetch the balance (of bribes owed) and when he pitched up and could not produce his identification (as a traffic cop) we told him he was going to get his balance at the police station. We did a civilian arrest.”

Western Cape National Taxi Alliance (WC-NTA) spokesman Mvuyasi Mente said the bogus traffic cop had been defrauding taxi bosses for a “long time”.

“The person was arrested by the taxi industry in collaboration with the police,” said Mente.

Khayelitsha Police Station spokesman Constable Mthokozisi Gama on Friday confirmed that a teenager posing as a traffic cop was arrested on Thursday afternoon at Khayelitsha’s Kuwait taxi rank.

Gama said at the 19-year-old suspect had three traffic fines, eight learner drivers’ licenses, and identity photographs for five people in his possession.

He said the suspect, charged with impersonating an officer and theft under false pretense, was in custody and would appear in the Khayelitsha court tomorrow. (Monday 19 April)

He was unable to say how much money the bogus cop had stolen other than to say it was a “large amount”.

Tags: Codeta

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One Response to “Bogus cop crooks crooked taxi bosses”

  1. Shereen Salie says:

    Wow!! I’m impressed coz this is a very resourceful young man, thanx for a superb story which is a relief from the usual crap we have to read.

    Shereen

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