What was meant to be a relaxing holiday for a Canadian family was quickly cut short after they were allegedly abducted by men dressed in police uniforms and robbed of their personal belongings.
The family had been visiting the country over the festive period and were accosted by bogus police officers in Mpumalanga.
According to police spokesperson, Colonel Donald Mdhluli, five victims were robbed of their personal items while driving in a Toyota Fortuner, next to the High Court in Mbombela along the N4 Road, on Saturday evening, January 6.
“A group of about four armed suspects were driving in a Ford Ranger bakkie, which reportedly had blue lights. It is further alleged that the occupants of the bakkie flashed the blue lights and cornered the victims, who were held at gunpoint,” he said.
Mdhluli said the fake police officers allegedly demanded the family’s personal items and took them to various ATMs to withdraw money.
He said the suspects were able to obtain the family’s banking pin codes and reportedly withdrew an undisclosed amount of cash.
“Some of the items that were taken from the victims include mobile phones, jewellery, cash, as well as bank cards. They then dropped off the family in the Masoyi policing area outside Nelspruit.
The family arrived in the country on December 28 and visited Mount Kilimanjaro. They were due to leave SA on January 9, but left the day after the incident.
The matter is under investigation and no arrests have been effected as yet.
Police are calling on the community to help in tracing the suspects.
“Anyone with information that may assist in apprehending the suspect can call Detective Colonel Thami Mkhaliphi on 082 469 2431. Alternatively members of the public can call the Crime Stop number at 08600 10111 or send information via the MYSAPS app.
“All received information will be treated as confidential and callers may opt to remain anonymous,” Mdhluli said.