Seven suspects aged between 78 and 50 years old were arrested today by the Directorate for Priority investigations on allegations of corruption, money laundering and fraud.

The sweeping high-profile arrests follows a marathon investigation wherein almost R1.6 Billion is said to have been misappropriated in the tender processes for the procurement of various services by the Department of Correctional Services. The tenders were awarded to Bosasa Operations (Pty) Ltd and its affiliated or subsidiary companies.

It is alleged that the officials received and accepted gifts in the form of cash, they also allegedly received financial assistance in acquiring properties, acquiring motor vehicles from dealers, other assets and payments to travel agents for overseas travel. One of the suspects is overseas however he has been informed that there is a warrant for his arrest. Another is in Port Elizabeth and efforts are underway to bring him back to Pretoria to face the charges.

The National Head of the Hawks, Lieutenant General Godfrey Lebeya, has welcomed the arrest of the suspects.

“I appreciate that the attendance of the accused in court is finally secured. It is a step in the right direction and am looking forward to proper conclusion of the matter with a verdict in court,” said Lieutenant General Lebeya.

The five of the of the original eight suspects including three companies are expected to appear today at the Pretoria Specialised Commercial.