Fake workers held over Christmas box scam

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IOL  pikitup july 18

Independent Newspapers

Five bogus Pikitup employees have been arrested for carrying fake IDs, trying to elicit money from residents. File photo: Dumisani Sibeko

Johannesburg - Five bogus Pikitup employees have been arrested in the Fairland area for carrying fraudulent company letters and identity documents, trying to solicit money from residents.

The gang, reportedly consisting of 20 members, have been operating in the Blairgowrie, Parkhurst, Parktown North and Saxonwold areas.

They carry papers, with Pikitup letterheads, claiming they are employees. Some even wear items of clothing bearing the Pikitup logo.

Parkhurst councillor Tim Truluck stopped two of them about two weeks ago, but was forced to let them go after police failed to arrive to arrest them.

However, he reported it to Pikitup and the entity’s security department teamed up with the Parkhurst Residents’ Association, Parkview SAPS and a local private security company.

Pikitup chief operating officer Ika Magasa said an agreement was reached that if these impostors were seen again around the area, the police and security department should be notified immediately. As a result, five men were arrested on Thursday.

“Pikitup welcomes the arrest of these five individuals who were soliciting for Christmas presents from Joburg residents.

‘We condemn and distance ourselves from any individuals or employees involved in this unethical practice. While we recognise that this is a common practice that has become a culture, this does not make it right - it is, in fact, illegal,” said Magasa.

Pikitup sent out a notice for residents to report any Pikitup employees or individuals soliciting Christmas gifts.

“With any initiative or project it’s critical that the community, business and the police work together, which has led to the arrest of these individuals. Warning residents not to give Christmas presents is part of Pikitup’s transformation strategy as professionalism and ethics form a critical part of this journey,” added Magasa.

The following people from Pikitup’s security risk team can be contacted by residents if approached for “Christmas boxes”: Moses Mokwana on 082 855 9234, Tommy Sigauke on 072 649 0730, Anton Engelbrecht on 071 362 2673 or Xolile Lusithi on 071 855 0718.

anna.cox@inl.co.za

The Star


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