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Saturday, March 14, 2009

Another warning!

I have also experienced this scam!
Last Sunday afternoon, 8th March, I was travelling back from South Africa with my wife - heading along the R22 from Witbank. Just after the R22 joins the OR Tambo Airport intersection a car tailed me flashing it's headlights and hazzards. I pulled into the middle lane and the car drew up alongside with the passenger, dressed in what appeared to be SA Police uniform, signalling me to pull over - I ignored him and he then pulled out an ID document complete with SA Police badge, but titled "Tourist Police" in bold lettering. In that instant my mind raced, thinking that perhaps, just perhaps, SA were getting organised with a special section of police allocated to look after tourists for the 2010 world cup. Everything looked believeable with all three occupants wearing similar uniforms complete with Police caps, but driving an unmarked white Audi A4.

The car pulled in front of me and forced me to slow down - I acted as though I was following orders and when they stopped I sped off. They immediately started following, but fortunately for us they were not able to get back into the traffic straight away. I raced to the nearest off-ramp and headed for a Police station. The Police confirmed that there is NO TOURIST POLICE section of the police in existance.

Obviously they target people in foreign vehicles going to or coming from the airport. The "tourist police officers" looked to be either Mediteranean or Indian - not sure!

I would suggest the following:

Be aware of where Police stations are in the area, should you be travelling anywhere near the airport.
Don't stop ever! Drive to the nearest police station - even if you may think they are legit police officers in the car following you, you won't get charged if you go straight to the police!
Don't race away like we did - drive as normally as possible.
Take down their car registration number - it didn't even cross our minds to do so and it's the first thing the police ask for.
Take care

Angus Boxshall-Smith

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