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Duped police ‘recruits’ report for duty

by Lesotho Times

 MASERU — Four women who were allegedly recruited by a bogus employment agent received the shock of their lives this week when they reported for “duty” at the police headquarters in Maseru.

The woman, who was arrested on October 22, is alleged to have swindled about 32 people  out of their money after she claimed she was recruiting trainees for the army and police.

Lerato Lebesa, from Seapoint in Maseru allegedly claimed she was accredited as a recruitment agent for the army and police.

The police say Lebesa conned dozens of desperate job seekers over a six-month period.

Each of her victims had paid between M2 860 and M2 960 to get a job into the security services.  Others had been promised that they would be trained as police officers and soldiers.  

The four women arrived at the police headquarters on Monday to take up “their posts”, police spokesperson Masupha Masupha said.

He said they had letters of admission into the police force.

The letters, Masupha said, had a forged signature of the police commissioner.

The letter said the women were supposed to start their jobs as police assistants on November 1.

“They could not believe it when they were told that the agency was bogus and they had been swindled out of their money,” Masupha said.

“They even told the police that when they were recruited the woman (Lebesa) was making some calls pretending to be talking to police officials.

“She was asking whether she should continue hiring more people and the person on the other side would tell her to continue.”

He said police had since found the phone that was used during the scam.

Lebesa appeared before the magistrate’s court last Wednesday and was charged with fraud.

She was granted bail of M3 000 and made to deposit surety worth M10 000.

She could not afford both the bail and surety so she was remanded in custody.

Masupha said he could not reveal the names of victims as they were going to testify in court as witnesses.

Masupha said there could be more people in other areas who were swindled by the agency.

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