THREE suspects aged between 34 and 38 appeared in the Port Shepstone Magistrates Court, in the south of KZN, yesterday.

This after their arrest in Hibberdene on Monday. The suspects are accused of pretending to be inspectors from the department of health at an incident that took place on Friday.

KZN police spokeswoman Colonel Thembeka Mbele said a case of fraud was opened at Port Shepstone cop shop.

“They approached a supermarket on Nelson Mandela Drive in Port Shepstone and proceeded to check the expiry dates on various items.”

Mbele said the suspects allegedly requested the storekeeper to make a cash payment to them.

“The owner of the store contacted the department to confirm the visit. This resulted in the three suspects fleeing in their vehicle. They were later arrested after being spotted by vigilant residents.”

She said the vehicle used by the suspects was hired and had fake department of health branding on it.

The suspects, who are facing charges of extortion and fraud, will remain in custody and return to court on Wednesday.