WELKOM – A 39-years-old suspected fraudster who allegedly cheated guest houses in several towns in South Africa has been arrested by members of the South African Police Service (SAPS) flying squad in Welkom, the SAPS in the Free State said on Saturday.
The man was arrested on Thursday following an appeal by the SAPS via the media to members of the community to help trace the suspect, Free State SAPS spokesperson Colonel Thandi Mbambo said in a statement.
“Information was received by the investigating officer Warrant Officer De Wet and he contacted members of Welkom flying squad to follow up information at one of the guest houses in Kok Street, St Helena in Welkom. The suspect was found there and arrested,” she said.
While searching the arrested man’s luggage, two knives, a quantity of tik (crystal methamphetamine) and dagga were found in one of his bags. The police officers opened a further case of possession of drugs against him.
The suspect was wanted in connection with cases of theft opened at Odendaalsrus police station, and theft and fraud cases opened at the Harrismith and Parkweg police stations.
The suspect had already appeared in the Welkom Magistrates’ Court on Friday on charges of possession of drugs and dangerous weapons. He would appear on a charge of fraud and theft at Odendaalsrus Magistrates’ Court on Monday.
Other police stations would then follow suit and also charge him with theft and fraud at other guest houses, Mbambo said.
Welkom flying squad members Warrant Officer James Earle, Warrant Officer Molahlehi Busakwe, Constable Thato Monokoane, and Warrant Officer Marie De Wet and members of the media were lauded by Free State police commissioner Lt-Gen Baile Motswenyane for their sterling work in “stopping this criminal from continuing with his criminal activities”.
“We will leave no stone unturned to track down criminals to ensure that there is no space for them in our communities,” Motswenyane said.
– African News Agency (ANA)