PRETORIA – The Hawks’ integrated team based in Cape Town that includes Serious Organised Crime Investigation, Serious Corruption Investigation and Road Traffic Management Cooperation (RTMC) clamped down on nine suspects between the age of 32 and 62, nabbed during a second leg of a project driven investigation in Gauteng yesterday.
They were arrested from the three vehicle Licensing Departments where they worked as registration personnel in Roodepoort, Langlaagte and Krugersdorp (Mogale City), Licencing departments. This followed an in-depth investigation by the Hawks team which identified several stolen vehicles which had been fraudulently re-registered into the National Traffic Information System (Natis) as re-builds.
During the first leg of investigation eight syndicate members including their ring leaders were dealt a major blow when they were arrested from February this year consecutively between Cape Town and Johannesburg. It was further established that these employees from the department of transport allegedly aided the syndicate in ensuring that the stolen vehicles were re-registered.
The eighteenth suspect, a girlfriend to the Gauteng based ring leader was arrested on Wednesday, 16 June 2021, for her alleged involvement in the syndicate. She appeared in the Johannesburg Magistrate’s Court yesterday and was released on R40 000.00 bail. She is expected to appear in the same court on the 23 July 2021. All nine suspects are expected to appear at Johannesburg central Magistrate’s Court on Friday, 18 June 2021.
All seventeen recovered vehicles that were sold to innocent and unsuspecting buyers and who purchased these vehicles from second-hand car-dealers as well as on roadside car-sales through a gentlemen agreement, were seized and handed to the rightful owners.
The National Head of the Directorate for Priority Crime Investigation, Lieutenant General Godfrey Lebeya lauded the elite Investigating team for their exceptional skills that ensured a total of eighteen (18) suspects have their day in court to answer activities in this criminal enterprise.