‘We commend our law enforcement agencies for the swift arrest of this fraudster’
PRETORIA – A 41-year-old man was arrested on Wednesday in Diepkloof, Soweto, following a sting operation by the Gauteng traffic police and South African Police Service’s crime intelligence unit for making and selling fake Covid-19 essential services permits.
The arrest prompted Gauteng’s department of community service to warn members of the public to refrain from purchasing and using fraudulent documents during the Covid-19 national lockdown period.
“We commend our law enforcement agencies for the swift arrest of this fraudster who is robbing our people of their hard-earned money in exchange for the fraudulent documents. Sadly, this is a serious contravention of the Covid-19 national lockdown regulations,” said Gauteng community safety spokesperson Ofentse Morwane.
He cautioned community members to stay at home during lockdown.
Morwane added that the brazen fraudulent acts of the man, which included advertising on the gates of his home, had serious consequences.
The suspect was also producing fake motor vehicle licences.
“Nobody is allowed to produce permits except authorised state institutions and organisations. Anyone found in possession of fraudulent documents during this lockdown period and beyond will face the full might of the law,” said Morwane.
The man was detained at the Diepkloof Police Station. He is expected to appear in the Orlando Magistrate’s Court on charges of fraud and contravention of the national lockdown regulations.
President Cyril Ramaphosa on March 23 announced a countrywide lockdown from March 27, permitting only certain categories of businesses and entities providing “essential services” to remain open.
The lockdown is accompanied by a string of regulations that limit the movement of citizens, who are expected to stay at home unless they are shopping for food, seeking medical help or supplies, banking, buying petrol, collecting social grants, or performing essential services.