New Zimbabwe (London)

South Africa: Zimbabweans Held in South Africa for ID Fraud

TWO South African based Zimbabweans, who abandoned their original citizenship to buy fake South African identity documents, have been charged with fraud.

Some officials from South Africa's Home Affairs ministry are also now under investigations for issuing out fake documents, which included a passport.

The Zimbabweans were nabbed during a joint operation by South Africa's country's elite police unit - the Hawks - backed by the Department of Home Affairs.

One of the two Zimbabweans is said to have gone on to open bank account using fake identity.

"In a joint sting operation by Home Affairs and the Hawks, a Zimbabwean national was today (Friday) arrested in Pretoria for an alleged identity fraud," said Nora Pitsi, an official with the Counter-Corruption unit in the South African Home Affairs said.

"The suspect allegedly stole someone's identity and allegedly obtained ID and passport."

The suspect also allegedly opened a bank account using the victim's details.

"The department of Home Affairs will continue to work with the Hawks to curb the scourge of corruption and fraud."

Pitsi said their probe into the fake identity documents scandal would now extend to the country's Home Affairs officials or any other person involved in the fraud.

It was not however, clear whether the Zimbabweans, after they had obtained the fake identity documents, went on to defraud unsuspecting shop owners.

Some Zimbabweans, desperate to remain in South Africa, have resorted to colluding with corrupt South African Home Affairs officials to obtain the documents.

It was not clear as to when the Zimbabweans were going to be taken to court.

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