Criminal syndicate extorts money from unsuspecting people

A criminal syndicate of corrupt law enforcers and impersonators extorts money from unsuspecting people who have pending criminal cases.

This comes after people who have cases registered with the SA Police Service (SAPS) and courts find themselves at the receiving end of losing their money to extortion.

According to the victims who spoke to Sunday World, they have been persuaded by rogue police officers and court officials posing as investigating officers and prosecutors to pay a certain amount to have their cases squashed.

“I have been contacted by people who claim to be prosecutors, some claim to be from the SAPS in Arcadia, Pretoria telling me that they have the results of my blood samples regarding my pending case,” said a complainant.

“These people have all the information about the case, and they sound legitimate. They intimidated me saying that if my matter goes to court, I will be prosecuted for 10 months or be fined R20 000.

“They said that they can make my case disappear.

“One of the guys who calls himself Colonel SS Modise, who claims to be working for the SAPS forensic laboratory, called me and said he wanted to make the matter disappear.

“He said he is working with someone called senior prosecutor Pieter Erasmus from the West Rand. Modise said that I should send R6 000 via e-wallet, however I refused.

“I insisted in meeting him and Erasmus, but they didn’t want to meet with me.”

Another complainant said he received a call from Erasmus, who told him that if he is not going to pay the money, they will meet in court.

“Erasmus told me that he will make sure that I get prosecuted and have my driver’s licence to suspended. I told Erasmus that I am not going to fall for his tricks, and he blocked my number,” said the complainant.

In WhatsApp messages that Modise had sent to one of the complainants, he wrote: “I spoke to the guy [Erasmus] and he said R5k to clear you on everything.

“The white guy [Erasmus] said if you don’t trust him enough, he can’t make meet ups. The only thing you must have is to trust us and just do instant money [e-wallet] or something.

“Then he will take down the case from the system. He will do a withdrawal letter for you and we will send it to you.”

In a voice note that Erasmus sent to one of the complainants, he states that he is not willing to meet in public where there are cameras and people.

“I am not willing to meet with you in public, as I don’t want to be photographed for trying to help you,” he can be heard saying in the voice note.

“If you don’t do what I tell you, then we will meet in court. I don’t want to lose my job for R5 000.”

One of the chief prosecutors in Gauteng told Sunday World that the police have been looking for the imposters, saying they have extorted a lot of money from unsuspecting people while claiming to be prosecutors and police officers.

Erasmus, who poses as a senior prosecutor in Kempton Park Pieter Erasmus, vanished the minute Sunday World questioned him about the operations of the syndicate.

When contacted and told that his name is used to extort money from unsuspecting people, the real prosecutor Erasmus was shocked.

“Thanks for alerting me regarding this matter. It is very concerning that my name is being used to do such,” he said.

“Please speak to the NPA [National Prosecuting Authority] spokesperson in this regard, as I am not authorized to speak to the media.”

NPA spokesperson Mthunzi Mhaga said: “The NPA is not aware of these people and as prosecutors we do not liaise or communicate with accused or suspects as that is the responsibility of the police, in particular the investigating officer.

“We urge members of the public to be vigilant and not be victims of such corrupt activities.”

The SAPS and the Hawks failed to comment at the time of publishing despite detailed questions having been sent to them.


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