Two Romanian men, aged 36 and 52, appeared in court on Sunday on charges that they had conned foreign tourists into paying fines for alleged criminal offences while posing as police officers, a Copenhagen Police spokesman told Ritzau news agency.
According to police, the two men posed as plain-clothes officers and used a phony or foreign police sign to convince tourists that they had violated a law and needed to pay a cash fee. In other variants of the trick, the men demanded that tourists show their passports and cash and then simply disappeared with the money or conned the tourists into handing over the credit cards and PIN codes.
“Many tourists don’t know the rules here in the country and these type of criminals take advantage of that,” Sajja Haider from the Copenhagen Police said.
The two men were arrested on Saturday outside of one of the city’s most-frequented tourist spots, the Tivoli Gardens amusement park. They were recognized by a nearby hotel receptionist and Haider said that police have good photos of the false officers from surveillance cameras and have had many tourists give reports that point to the same two men.
When they were apprehended by real police officers, the two false ones had a large amount of cash in various currencies amounting to roughly 45,000 kroner (6,000 euro, $6,600).
The two Romanians are charged with fraud and impersonating a public official and face punishment of up to 18 months in prison.