The Directorate on Corruption and Economic Crime this week issued a warning to members of the public that there are conmen who are going around impersonating DCEC officers in order to gain information from government files which they use to swindle money from unsuspecting people who have applied for permits or licenses from government departments.
Zimbabwean Ishmael Dube is a recent victim of the conmen when he was conned of P1, 000 in May by people impersonating immigration officers in Gaborone.
According to Dube, this happened after he had gone to the Immigration offices in Gaborone hoping to extend his days in the country and found a very long queue at the offices. He lost hope and was afraid of returning to his temporary job late. As he was about to leave, he said, a young lady who appeared to be a Motswana, approached him and asked him if he had come to extend his days. When he answered positively, the young woman politely told him that she had a cousin working in the Department who could process his papers quicker and cheaper.
Dube said at first he was suspicious and feared to be cheated as he had heard about such stories before. But the young lady was convincing in that she showed him a file, with several immigration papers with names of people, which she said she was going to deliver to her cousin to have the people’s days extended. As he hesitated, the young lady asked him to follow him up to the gate whilst she talked on her mobile phone. At the gate, Dube said the lady pointed at a young man who was just emerging from the Immigration office and told him that it was his cousin whom she was talking about. Dube, seeing a well-dressed person emerging from the Immigration offices, was convinced and parted with P1000 on promise that they would meet at the same place the following day. That never happened as even the cell phone numbers he got from them never worked.