A Gordon’s Bay man was arrested after allegedly impersonating a health inspector and scamming shop owners in the Helderberg Area. Law enforcement received a tip-off that a man driving a Mercedes-Benz was allegedly cruising the area and scamming foreign shop owners out of their money.
According to Cape Town law enforcement spokesperson Wayne Dyason, the man had reportedly been operating in the Helderberg area for a week.
Dyason explained that the 42-year-old man told shop owners he was checking on whether they were complying with lockdown regulations.
“He posed as a health inspector and told owners he was inspecting their shops and mini-supermarkets to see if they were compliant in terms of the Disaster Management Act regulations as it pertains to social distancing markings and screening devices like thermometers,” said Dyason.
He was caught on June 9 when he allegedly attempted to scam a shop owner in Strand Main Road.
“He eventually came to a store on Main Road in Strand and provided the shopkeeper with a fake identity card, supposedly from the health department,” said Dyason. “He then told the owners there were a number of non-compliance issues in the store and if they don’t pay him R3000 in cash, a fine of R25 000 will be issued and he will close the store for three months.”
Not believing him, the workers secretly called their boss and pressed the panic button for help. The officers soon arrived and arrested the man for fraud and impersonating a health officer.
According to Dyason, the Strand court is currently closed due to a COVID-19 case and he is uncertain when the man will appear.