A Canadian family’s holiday in South Africa took a terrifying turn when they were allegedly abducted and robbed by individuals posing as police officers.
The incident occurred in Mpumalanga, where the family was visiting during the festive season. According to Colonel Donald Mdhluli, a police spokesperson, the family was driving in a Toyota Fortuner near the High Court in Mbombela along the N4 Road on the evening of January 6 when they were accosted by the fake officers.
The suspects, reportedly armed and driving a Ford Ranger bakkie equipped with blue lights, cornered the victims and held them at gunpoint. They demanded the family’s personal belongings and took them to various ATMs to withdraw money.
Shockingly, the criminals were able to obtain the family’s banking pin codes and withdrew an undisclosed amount of cash. Along with cash, the victims’ mobile phones, jewellery, and bank cards were also stolen.
After the ordeal, the family was dropped off in the Masoyi policing area outside Nelspruit. Originally scheduled to leave South Africa on January 9, they decided to depart earlier due to the traumatic experience.
The incident is currently under investigation, and no arrests have been made thus far. Authorities are urging the community to come forward with any information that may lead to the apprehension of the suspects.
Anyone with relevant information can contact Detective Colonel Thami Mkhaliphi at 082 469 2431. Alternatively, members of the public can call the Crime Stop number at 08600 10111 or provide information through the MYSAPS app.
All information received will be treated as confidential, and callers may choose to remain anonymous.
This incident serves as a reminder for travellers to remain vigilant and cautious, even in seemingly safe environments. It is essential to verify the authenticity of individuals claiming to be law enforcement officers and to report any suspicious activity to the authorities.