The Hungarian police caught a hustler who pretended to be a policeman and, together with his partner in crime, they cheated money from foreigners in Budapest.
According to Police.hu, a man asked for directions from a foreign couple on September 24. That is when another person approached them and showed them some kind of badge and pretended to be a Hungarian policeman.
He spoke to them in English and explained that he was looking for counterfeit money and asked both the couple and the man to give him some money so that he can inspect it and determine if it was fake or not, the police reported.
The couple only discovered later, in their hotel rooms, that they only received one-third of their money back.
According to Hvg, the couple pressed charges, and the Erzsébetváros police soon identified the fake policeman and his partner in crime.
The man who asked for directions was possibly the spotter, meaning that it might have been him who selected the hustlers’ targets. Also, as the fake cop took money from him as well, it is possible that when the fake cop gave the money back, he might have given the couple’s missing money to his partner, making swindling the money less suspicious.
The authorities gave an arrest warrant for the swindlers, and the Pocket Theft Subdivision of the Budapest Police Headquarters managed to track down the two men and detained them on September 28 in Józsefváros.
The two perpetrators were 58- and 63-year-old Romanian citizens. The investigators searched the criminals’ hotel room and found and seized the clothes worn during the act, as well as 850,000 forints (approx. €2,430) worth of money.
The Hungarian authorities detained the Romanian perpetrators and made a motion for their arrest.
According to Index, this method of stealing money from people is a known phenomenon. The perpetrators choose foreigners and convince them that it is a common practice in Hungary. By the time the victims notice that a large sum of their money is gone, the perpetrators are nowhere to be found.
The Hungarian authorities draw attention to the fact that police officers in Hungary do not check in the streets whether your money is genuine.
Source: police.hu, hvg.hu, index.hu