Bogus police officers who, last week played into the snare of a covert police operation, have been remanded in police custody pending investigations.
The two men, a 40-year-old from Phaphane ward in Mochudi and another one aged 47 of Kgopa ward in Thamaga, were arrested last week for impersonating police officers.
The suspects, a former police officer and another- a consultant at Mega Pave Consultancy, were also found in possession of stolen property.
Lat Monday at around 1550hrs, the Southern Division Tsebentlha Task Team, acting in collaboration with the No. 4 District Wologora Task Team tracked down the suspects after receiving information from a reliable source.
They had been tipped off that a certain Zimbabwean male truck driver was held hostage by two Batswana males claiming to be Police Officers along the A1 at Bokaa Traffic intersection.
The truck was allegedly transporting a consignment of contraband tobacco from Zimbabwe to South Africa.
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“The two fake police officers were demanding P250 000 as bribery for the release of the truck and since the driver didn’t have money in his possession, the two suspects escorted him from Bokaa to Pioneer Border where he was to meet with the truck owner,” a source close to the investigations revealed.
The source said that, acting on the information, an undercover operation was conducted at Pioneer Border Gate where the criminals arrived with the truck driver.
They released him to cross into South Africa to collect money from the truck owner. “The truck driver came back with the money and handed it to lawful police officers without realising that they were not with the same officers he had made a deal with. Upon realising that he had handed the money to wrong people he immediately tried to snatch the money but he failed.”
He is said to have ran and crossed to the South African side, leaving the money behind. “The money was then counted and it amounted to R89 100-00,” said the source.
Upon their arrest the source said that the suspects’ vehicle was searched and a 30.06 rifle, 12 gauge shot gun, four live ammunition, pepper spray, police blue light, three pairs of handcuffs, fake police identification and cash amounting to P22 000 were found inside.
“The rifle was checked and it was registered in the names of a Motswana male of Extension 14 Gaborone and was reported stolen (house breaking) at Urban Police Station while the shotgun was also reported stolen in a case of breaking into a motor vehicle at Gaborone West Police Station. The motor vehicle was further checked through its chassis number and it revealed that it belonged to police, T.T.B Branch and was reported stolen in 2019.”
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Deputy Police Spokesperson, Senior Superintendent, Near Bagali, confirmed that they were handling a case of that nature but could not go on details saying the matter was still under investigations. “It is true we have two men we are still investigating for theft of a motor vehicle, found in possession of suspected stolen property and impersonating a person employed in the public service,”he added.