Scammers use former top cop’s profile for dodgy deals
Jwaneng Police are investigating allegations that fraudsters opened a fake Facebook account pretending to be former Minister of Nationality, Immigration, and Gender Affairs, Edwin Batshu, in order to swindle money from unsuspecting members of the community.
According to the diamond town’s Station Commander, Thuso Basuti, the cops are on the hunt for a culprit[s] who used a Facebook account bearing the ex-Police Commissioner’s picture and names.
Speaking to The Voice on Wednesday, Basuti revealed the account’s operators had successfully convinced members of the public that he/she was indeed the former Nkange Member of Parliament (MP).
“Whoever they are, they claimed that they were in the business of buying and selling clothes from abroad and they implicated Batshu,” explained the top cop.
Delving into further detail, Basuti divulged that the fraudster(s) has already claimed over P30, 000 from unsuspecting potential clients who believed they were ordering clothes from Batshu.
“It is not clear where this person is based, some of the victims said they were asked to come to Maun. That’s the problem with social media – some can claim to be at a particular place while in fact, they’re somewhere else,” warned the Superintendent.
Meanwhile, a concerned Batshu told The Voice he has been troubled by numerous bogus Facebook accounts bearing his names and pictures over the years.
Indeed, The Voice has since established that there are exactly 50 active accounts claiming to belong to Batshu.
“I reported my concerns to Tutume Police and recently I received a call from Jwaneng Police after people were defrauded by someone claiming to be me. That’s unacceptable!” cried the former legislator.
Batshu said he has received numerous calls from people who wanted to confirm the authenticity of some of the Facebook accounts.
“Some people get suspicious and they call me to be sure before parting with their money. My worry is although I’ve long reported this to the police, almost two months now, I’m yet to get feedback,” he said.
The ex-police chief warned people to be vigilant at all times.
“There are a lot of fraudsters out there who’ll stop at nothing to fraudulently take your hard-earned money. They should not be cheated on my name because I’m not even on Facebook. I long closed my account!” he confirmed.
Batshu is a former police officer who rose through the ranks after joining as a Constable in 1970. In 2004 he was appointed Commissioner of Police, a position he held until his retirement three years later.
He then turned his attention to the world of politics, reaping instant rewards as he was elected MP under the Botswana Democratic Party (BDP) ticket in 2009.
Batshu later served as Minister of Labour and Home Affairs and was at some point Chairperson of the Parliamentary Oversight Committee on Directorate of Intelligence and Security.
He retired from active politics in 2019, deciding not to stand in last year’s general elections after serving two terms as Nkange MP.