2 prisoners run extortion scam from inside Pretoria prison
20 November 2017
Johannesburg – Two prisoners have given new meaning to the term "inside job" after they were caught running an extortion scam from inside the Odi Correctional Centre in Pretoria.
Lieutenant Colonel Katlego Mogale said the national anti-corruption investigation unit started its investigation in July 2017 after it received complaints from the Crime Stop hotline about con artists who were contacting various police stations posing as senior police officers.
Mogale said Lucas Masemola, 44, from Soshanguve and Tebogo Makena, 24, from Mamelodi West, would phone the police stations and obtain information on carjackings and car theft.
"They would then contact crime victims, inform them that their vehicles have been recovered and advise that the victim must deposit certain amounts of money through eWallet to get their vehicles back."
Mogale said the inmates, who were serving a 7-year sentence for carjacking and possession of stolen goods, would also contact the next of kin of people who had been arrested and demand money in return for the release of their loved ones.
They had been scamming people in Gauteng, Mpumalanga, KwaZulu-Natal and the Northern Cape.
Mogale said Masemola and Makena were found in possession of cellphones during their arrest.
They are expected to appear in the Kempton Park Regional Court on charges of extortion, fraud, theft, defeating the ends of justice and impersonating police officers on December 4.