Home affairs pounces on corrupt officials and syndicates
The department of home affairs is intensifying its fight against syndicates involved in the sale of SA identities to foreigners.
A suspect, Nico Ibrahim, was arrested at the home affairs office in Eldorado Park, Johannesburg, on Friday.
“Our persistent efforts are paying off,” home affairs minister Aaron Motsoaledi said on Tuesday.
“Since we arrested the Pakistani kingpin and 29 other people, including home affairs officials in Krugersdorp on March 24, we have been unrelenting.
“We have been on the trail of those participating in these schemes and we are dealing harshly with corrupt officials who facilitate these shameful acts. The arrests on Friday demonstrate that criminals have nowhere to run. The police and our counter-corruption unit are hot on their trail. We are expecting more arrests.
“All documents found to have been issued fraudulently are immediately cancelled,, rendering them useless to the person who holds them,” Motsoaledi said.
Ibrahim has been on the run since April this year after the arrest of the alleged recruiter, Mohamed Ali, an allegedly corrupt former home affairs official, Nhlanhla Mathebula and four others involved in a “photo swap” scheme at the home affairs office in White River, Mpumalanga.
Ali and Mathebula were denied bail and are on trial in the Mbombela magistrate's court. Ibrahim appeared in the Kliptown magistrate's court on Monday and remains in custody.
“Also, two Bangladeshi nationals were arrested by law enforcement officials who included home affairs counter-corruption and home affairs immigration officials, and the Hawks, while trying to use fraudulent passports to leave the country via OR Tambo International Airport,” the department said.
They were remanded after appearing in the Kempton Park magistrate's court on Monday.
One of the Bangladeshis, Morshed Alam, arrived in SA in 2016 and is wanted for fraud in eThekwini after he allegedly applied for a passport he did not qualify for.
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