Thousands of motorists in Pretoria are being swindled out of traffic fine money by scam artists posing as metro officials.
The con artists have been operating for years, according to the Tshwane Metro Police.
They are believed to be stealing thousands of rand from unsuspecting traffic offenders every week.
The scam was exposed last week.
"When we began questioning motorists about why they had not paid their fines, we discovered that a lot of them said they had been helped by people working outside the offices.
"Our investigations showed that these people, who we have dubbed 'street prosecutors', con people out of their money by telling their victims that they will help them in having their fines cancelled or reduced," Van der Merwe said.
Explaining how the syndicates worked, Van der Merwe said "runners" working for the syndicates would approach an unsuspecting motorist and offer to help them with the paying of their fines.
"The runner then takes the paper your fine is printed on and disappears, telling you to wait in your car. He returns a while later with a photocopy of your fine, which has been stamped with a 'prosecutor's' stamp and with the words 'cancelled' or 'reduced' written on it.
"The 'runner' then asks a payment of between R200 and R500 for assisting you," he said.
Van der Merwe said the stamp was false and the fine had neither been reduced or cancelled.
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