Fake cops strike again

This comes after a 25-year-old truck driver was hijacked by two men imitating Road Traffic Inspectorate (RTI) officials, last week Wednesday at around 8pm.
The two men allegedly wore reflective police jackets and were in a stationary white Fiat Palio with blue lights flashing on the N3 freeway near the Liberty Midlands Mall and flagged down the truck driver to stop.
Once the truck driver pulled over on the side of the road, the traffic cop impersonators pulled out a gun holding him at gunpoint and tying the 25-year-old victim with a cable.
Pietermaritzburg Central police station spokesperson Captain Khosi Khonjelwayo said the driver was forced inside the truck which the two suspects drove off in towards Nottingham Road.
“The complainant was covered with a blanket so he was not able to see the route. He was eventually dropped off in Howick unharmed” said Khonjelwayo.
The matter was reported at the Howick police station and the truck was recovered together with two cell phones, a truck battery and booster cables.
No arrests have been made while investigations continue.
Sewraj Girdhurparsadh of Aliwal Security, a company that provides armed security guards to escort trucks within Pietermaritzburg and the rest of the province, said there was little that could be done about truck hijackings, besides truck drivers adhering to scheduled stops and being vigilant.
Girdhurparsadh added that highways had become a vulnerable spot for hijackings where motorists and drivers carrying valuable cargo create “unsafe pit-stops” to rest before reaching their destination, or to pick up hitchhikers.
“For over 20 years we’ve dealt with hijackings and the crux of the problem is unscheduled stops, and truck drivers not adhering to company policy, more so drivers stopping to pick up strangers on the side of highway which is so dangerous,” he said.
Zinhle Mngomezulu, RTI spokesperson said the department was cracking down on reckless driving, vehicles that were not road worthy. She also cautioned motorists against stopping after being flagged down by unmarked vehicles and officers’ not in marked uniform.
“There are opportunists using resources to deceive the public but we urge motorist not to fall into the trap. Take note of your surroundings at all times,” she encouraged.

  AUTHOR
Bongeka Sibisi
Journalist

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