Hawks arrest corrupt SA officials in Beitbridge for document fraud

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Matabeleland, 5 January 2014 - The Department of Home Affairs won't say whether it turned any Zimbabweans away at the Beitbridge Border Post this weekend saying they will only take stock of the situation on Monday.

LIMPOPO - The deputy director of the Department of Home Affairs in Beitbridge and 14 other people including public officials, have been arrested on charges of fraud and corruption.

The suspects including a SARS custom official, a Home Affairs Inspectorate, an advocate, a teacher, a local businessman, a councillor two immigration officers and four clearing agents, were arrested by the Directorate for Priority Crime Investigation (DPCI) on Thursday.

According to a statement released by Hawks&39; spokesperson, Brigadier Hangwani Mulaudzi, "The Deputy Director demanded and received two pairs of shoes worth R3,000 each so that he could stamp a brand new passport of a foreign national without any supporting documentation. The police officer on the other hand issued a false affidavit to a foreign national in the absence of the recipient for a fee of R1,200."

The advocate reportedly demanded and received R23,000 for issuing business visas to foreign nationals, while clearing agents were arrested for demanding and receiving between R5,000 and R9,000 for issuing fraudulent SARS Goods Export Permits without goods being presented.

"The teacher at Musina Secondary School is in the dock for demanding and receiving R2,000 per passport so that he could attach temporary residents permits and applying entry and departure stamps on 21 passports without any documentation supporting the foreign nationals’ stay in the country," Mulaudzi stated.

A councillor allegedly demanded and received R7,200 for issuing false immigration stamps to foreign nationals who either overstayed or needed more days to stay in the country.
All 15 suspects will appear before the Musina Magistrate’s Court on Friday.