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Cash loan shark operator sentenced

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The suspects were arrested while withdrawing money with their clients' cards from an ATM

File image: Picture: David Ritchie/ANA Pictures

A cash loan operator in the Northern Cape who was found in possession of more than 60 South Africa Social Security Agency (Sassa), bank and EasyPay cards belonging to clients, has been sentenced to a R4000 fine or 18 months imprisonment by the Kimberley Magistrate’s Court.

Directorate for Priority Crime investigation (Hawks) spokesperson, Captain Philani Nkwalase, said Jennifer Magdalene Mia, 35, appeared before the Kimberley Magistrate’s Court on Thursday after she, together with three other cash loan operators, were arrested for contravening section 40 (3) of the National Credit Act 34 of 2005.

Nkwalase said the suspects were arrested while withdrawing money with their clients’ cards from an ATM in Long Street on February 28 this year.

“She was found in possession of 67 assortment of Sassa cards, banks cards and EasyPay cards, as well as cash to the value of R14600 withdrawn from their clients’ accounts,” Nkwalase said.

The case against the other cash loan operators is set to continue on September 17. The trio were arrested and found in possession of a collection of 65 Sassa, bank and EasyPay cards, as well as cash to the value of R13960.

The Hawks’ Serious Commercial Crime unit conducted two more separate operations in Kimberley and Upington, where a further five suspects were arrested.

“Three suspects arrested in Kimberley on July 31, 2017, in possession of 78 Sassa and EasyPay cards as well as over R15000 cash, are expected to appear in Kimberley Magistrate’s Court on August 18 2017. In Upington, two suspects were arrested on August 1 2017 in possession of 21 Sassa and EasyPay cards, as well as cash to the value of R15390. They are expected to appear in Upington Magistrate’s Court on September 4 2017,” Nkwalase said.

“The households of all suspects involved in all these operations were searched and financial records were all seized.”

Hawks provincial head in Northern Cape, Major General Kholekile Galawe, welcomed the sentence against Mia and pledged to continue with such operations to halt exploitation of vulnerable people. – ANA