25 September 2017

South Africa: Project Sephooko Continue to Sting a Five People Were Arrested for Fraud in Soweto

press release

Project Sephooko is a multi-disciplinary task team that was formed for purposes of eradicating fraud and corruption that is prevalent within South African Social Service Agency (SASSA). The team comprises of SASSA, South African Police Service (SAPS), National Credit Regulator (NCR) and Road Traffic Management Corporation (RTMC).

On Friday 22 September 2017, the team made another breakthrough when they arrested five elderly suspects, one female and four males aged between 60 and 78, for committing fraud.

It is alleged that the suspects work with a certain ring leader whereby they apply for social grants using fraudulent documents. During the arrests the suspects were in possession of identity documents depicting their photos but false identity numbers and names. The police are still on a manhunt for the ring leader.

Since its inception in March 2017, Operation Sephooko has netted 33 suspects for crimes ranging from fraud, corruption and money laundering. The arrested suspects include SASSA officials, business people and SASSA beneficiaries.

Furthermore, Gauteng Police conducting various intelligence-driven operations that included roadblocks, tracing of wanted suspects, stop and searches as well as raiding of illegal liquor outlets. These operations paid off as more than 2000 people were arrested. In Tshwane, police and other law enforcement agencies arrested more than 800 suspects for crime ranging from possession of drugs, attempted murder, rape and kidnapping. Police visibility was also intensified in Ekurhuleni with a number of crime prevention operations conducted which resulted to the arrest of more than 330 suspects for crime such as car hijacking, attempted murder, assault, rape, robbery, possession of unlicensed firearms and ammunition.

Large contingency of police were also deployed in Sedibeng, Johannesburg and Soweto where police raided hostels, searching for illegal weapons and conducted road blocks targeting those who are driving while under the influence of alcohol and vehicles that might have been stolen. These operations led to the arrest of more than 1000 suspects who were either found to be drunk and driving, assault, possession of suspected stolen property, burglary, possession of drugs and murder.

As we are steadily approaching the festive season, police promise to embark on more crime prevention initiatives to ensure that the people of Gauteng are and feel safe.

The arrested suspects will appear at different Magistrate's Courts in Gauteng from tomorrow, 26 September 2017.

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