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‘Scammers’ released by police

Two ATM scammers caught in the act on Tuesday 19 November after they allegedly attempted to clone bank cards and fraudulently enforcing spot-fines were released without explanation by police.

This left the community, which has clamoured for a strategy of preventing such crimes for years, stunned. Countless victims have come forward to tell their stories of being scammed out of thousands of rands.

According to reports, four to five suspects were spotted by community members after motorists were scammed in Main Road near the Shell petrol station. One source said they were driving “a newish Polo and a newish Mercedes”. The men were wearing reflector vests and even had a police light on the dashboard of their Volkswagen Polo with a CAA registration plate.

Their modus operandi was reported numerous times by the Paarl Post. The fraudulent officers would instruct unsuspecting drivers to stop at the side of the road and tell them they were speeding and demand immediate cash payment for a spot fine. An Audi driver was apparently dragged from his car to withdraw money from a nearby ATM. This approach is also used to clone bank cards.

Western Cape Police spokesperson Cpt Frederick van Wyk said the perpetrators are possibly using rental vehicles and targeting foreigners in the Winelands area. He said police were alerted to an incident where possible card cloning occurred. When the police arrived a chase ensued between police and a white Mercedes in the Wellington CBD, which led to three suspects being taken in for questioning. “One suspect, a 35-year-old, was arrested on a Bellville SAPS warrant of arrest,” said Van Wyk. He did not elaborate on why the other suspects were released or whether they could be linked to incidents involving the Polo.

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