I am really concerned that someone has cloned my number plates, and I cannot find any way to report it formally. I will continue to lobby my informal network and social media to see whether there might be a viable solution to the situation I find myself in.
Reporting Cloned Number Plates
I found out that my number plates were cloned when I received someone else’s eToll bills, but on my number plate. The person obviously chose a ‘White Corsa’, but didn’t realise that my White Corsa has been clearly branded with TheRoomLink.co.za. This means I can easily prove that it wasn’t my car, but someone else using my number plate. Problem is, the ‘South African System’ doesn’t have a way to deal with it and report it.
Sanral (the eToll people) has a very long and onerous form which I need to complete and attach a big pile of documents which have been certified by the Police. The form itself must in turn be signed by Commissioner of Oaths (Police), and the whole pile of docs need to be sent to them by registered mail (at about the same cost as the eToll invoice I am disputing!). But here is the joke: they want me to do this for each invoice I receive on the cloned plates, which I am clearly not going to do. I will spend 2-3 hours a week at the Police Station and Post Office otherwise. I’ll do it once and get it on the record. But that doesn’t solve the root of the problem.
I went to the Police to report it, and was passed from one department to next to next. Not because they were trying to be difficult. But because they don’t know how to open a case without victimising me! They’re concerned that if my registration number goes on a crime database, I will be criminalised in the process and will constantly have to prove my innocence. They’re particularly worried that the number place will come up as ‘involved in crime’ and I may be stopped more often (and who knows that else) in road blocks etc. Really worrying! So the answer is – they did nothing and have tried to pass the buck.
The JHB Metro Police have a dedicated unit that deals with this type of crime per Carte Blanche, so the Police sent me to the Tshwane Metro Police to see if they have something similar. Doesn’t seem like they can’t help either, but could confirm that the crook using my plates, hasn’t incurred any fines (yet!). I have been passed from department to department there, going around and around in circles … and am now fresh out of ideas.
Can you help?
This just made me wonder – has anyone experienced this issue? And did you get it resolved? Do you know what needs to be done and how to do it? I would very much appreciate it if you could share you knowledge and/or experience to help me navigate this issue before I go back to the UK in a week’s time. My car will stay behind, and I really don’t want my staff to be saddled with the issue.
Any help appreciated!