Beware of bogus shop inspectors in the north, warn police

A copy of an invoice that the bogus inspector left at one of the shops.

Soshanguve police have warned shop owners against bogus inspectors visiting shops claiming to be from the Gauteng Department of Health.

Spokesperson Constable Zanele Mtsweni said on Tuesday police had launched an investigation after receiving a complaint from one of the shop owners.

“The SAPS Soshanguve have noted that there are bogus health inspectors going around the community alleging to be coming from the Gauteng Department of Health. They conduct unauthorised health inspections around local spaza shops and allegedly fine the owners an amount of R8 000.”

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Mtsweni said the fake inspectors usually targeted smaller shops, as it was likely that many such business owners may not have the necessary knowledge to deal with health officials’ visits.

“That is why the police are urging shop owners to report the matter to us if they are not sure of anything. We want these people arrested and prosecuted.”

She said police had received a report on this from a concerned spaza shop owner.

The owner, though suspicious, allowed the man to carry on with his job.

After inspecting the shop he left an invoice of R8 000 and promised he would return later to collect the money.

As of Tuesday afternoon, the man had not returned to the shop to collect the money.

“The shop owner presented to the police documents which appear to have been forged. Police have since launched an investigation on the so-called health inspector, identified as Jabulile Dladla,” said Mtsweni.

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She said police suspect that the suspect may have duped more shop owners in the community.

“The community, particularly local shop owners are sensitised to be vigilant and not allow people to enter their premises without valid official appointment cards. We request any information pertaining to this matter to be brought forward to any police station.”

The alleged bogus inspector claimed to have been out to check for a number of problems, including unsatisfactory by-law enforcement and if the buildings met health and safety regulations.

She said police had found that the Department of Health was not aware of such inspectors doing the rounds.

The Department of Health said that genuine officials from the department carried identification cards depicting their photos and the departmental logo.

The department said the dress code of the officials was different from the suit and tie the con artist wore.

“The problem is not restricted to Gauteng only, but also the rest of the country.”

Anyone with information can contact the Soshanguve police 012 730 1300.

Police say the fake inspectors usually targeted smaller shops as it was likely that many such business owners may not have the necessary knowledge to deal with health officials’ visits.

Do you have more information about the story? Please send us an email to [email protected] or phone us on 083 625 4114.

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  AUTHOR
David Matsena

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