Five women in cus­tody af­ter cloth­ing scam

The Rep - - FRONT PAGE - ZOLILE MENZELWA

FIVE women, aged be­tween 28 and 40, are in cus­tody in con­nec­tion with a scam which left cus­tomers shop­ping at a Ko­mani cloth­ing re­tailer without their be­long­ings.

The scam al­legedly in­volved con­vinc­ing women to leave their be­long­ings with a woman or women out­side stores while go­ing in­side to iden­tify cloth­ing which could then al­legedly be pur­chased at half price.

The cus­tomers, how­ever, re­turned to find that their per­sonal be­long­ings had been stolen.

Ac­cord­ing to the po­lice, the women are be­ing in­ves­ti­gated for thefts out­side a lo­cal cloth­ing store this month.

The Rep re­ported (“Scam alert,” April 1 2016) that an Ez­i­be­leni res­i­dent, Se­sethu Sam, had been al­legedly duped into part­ing with her hand­bag by women she met while buy­ing shoes. The women al­legedly promised her a dis­count as a friend worked for the shop.

Sam said at the time she was grouped with other women who were also promised a dis­count.

She said they were told to leave their be­long­ings and to go to iden­tify the cloth­ing items. On their re­turn they found that the women – and their be­long­ings – had van­ished.

The ar­rested women have not been linked with this in­ci­dent, but the modus operandi was the same.

This week po­lice spokeswoman Cap­tain Namhla Mdle­leni said five women were iden­ti­fied by a per­son who al­legedly fell vic­tim to the scam in Mdantsane. The women were ap­par­ently iden­ti­fied and ar­rested in Nonesi Mall.

“The five women ap­peared in the Ko­mani Mag­is­trate’s Court on Mon­day and their cases were post­poned to to­day for fur­ther in­ves­ti­ga­tion. They re­main in cus­tody as there are pend­ing cases and war­rants of ar­rest against some of them.”

Cases had been opened in Mdantsane and Graaff-Reinet.

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