Three additional traffic department officials have been added to the list of suspects who committed fraud and money laundering amounting R60 million.
TRAFFIC DEPARTMENT OFFICIALS DEFRAUDED EMPLOYER
The three suspects, aged between 36 and 42 are from the Mbombela Municipality, Mbombela Traffic Department and White River Traffic Department.
Their arrest comes after investigations carried out by the Special Investigating Unit (SIU) in December 2018.
This after information was reported that employees were extending expired vehicle licence discs to the owners of the vehicles, said Hawks spokesperson Captain Dineo Lucy Sekgotodi.
“During the investigation by the Hawks, it was established that the cashiers colluded with the motorists after they saw the opportunity of trucks owing large amounts of money.”Captain Dineo Lucy Sekgotodi
These officials would then manipulate the system and extend the expiration dates of the trucks’ vehicle licence discs. They would then reissue the new disc that showed a zero balance, Sekgotodi said.
“The truck owners would pay the money meant for the Department to the officials for their own benefit which is called money dumping, amounting to R60 million.”
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JOINT OPERATION GOES AFTER FRAUDSTERS
A joint operation made of the Hawks’ Nelspruit-based Serious Commercial Crime Investigation Unit and the Road Traffic Management Corporation (RTMC) went after the suspected fraudsters.
The suspected fraudsters were arrested on Wednesday in Mbombela and White River respectively. They now face charges of fraud, theft and money laundering, said Sekgotodi.
They are expected to appear before the Nelspruit Magistrate’s Court on Friday, 15 September.
These arrests have increased the number of suspects to nine people.
The other six accused are made up of former Department of Community Safety’s help desk workers Thembi Millicent Motlohi, 43, Allman Thabani Masuku, 35, and Xoliswa Celia Ngcelwane, 52. The other suspects are Nompulelo Winnie Nxumalo, 44, Agnes Nosipho Ndzinisa, 54 and Mbombela Registry authority Nkosinathi Samuel Gumede, 37.
This group of six were nabbed and arrested by the Hawks’ Nelspruit-based Serious Commercial Crime Investigation unit with the RTMC on Monday, 18 July.
The National Traffic Anti-Corruption Unit and the SIU were also part of the arresting team.
The six were however released on R15 000 bail each. They are to reappear before the court on 29 September.
“More arrests are imminent,” said Sekgotodi.
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