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Four expected in court over illegal adoption

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Four people are expected to appear in the Botshabelo Magistrate’s Court in the Free State on Monday on charges of illegal adoption and fraud.

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FOUR people are expected to appear in the Botshabelo Magistrate’s Court, in the Free State, on Monday on charges of illegal adoption and fraud.

According to the provincial spokesperson for the Directorate for Priority Crime Investigation (Hawks), Warrant Officer Fikiswa Matoti, the first two suspects were arrested on Friday, March 17, and the other two the following day

Matoti said the two suspects arrested on Friday were arrested by the Botshabelo police for illegal adoption and fraud.

The suspects are aged 35 and 51.

“It is alleged that two females, a Lesotho national and a South African, went to Botshabelo Home Affairs for late registration applications for two children, aged 5 and 15.

“An official from Home Affairs who was assisting them became suspicious and immediately notified the police,” Matoti said.

According to the preliminary investigation, it was discovered that an official from the Department of Health allegedly recruited foreign nationals to illegally adopt children.

“The recruited woman would identify children and negotiate with their parents to give consent in exchange for a monetary reward should they agree. She would take the children to a Home Affairs official who will register them.

“The children would later be registered for Sassa grants and they (the suspects) would share the money,” Matoti said.

The matter was referred to the Hawks’ Serious Organised Crime Investigation unit based in Bloemfontein.

“Two other suspects, aged 29 and 59, believed to be the parents of the children in question, were also arrested on Saturday, March 18, 2023. More arrests are imminent,” Matoti said.

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