FREE STATE- The Hawks in Free State have concluded a major investigation with a successful takedown operation wherein six police officers were arrested for fraud, corruption and theft.

One Lieutenant Colonel working at Provincial Vispol (48) , another Lieutenant Colonel (48) working at Public Order Police (POP), three constables whose ages ranged between 37 and 44, attached to Tactical Response Team (TRT) as well as a Finance Admin Clerk (31) attached to Provincial Finance Office. More arrest are expected as investigation continues.

Hawks investigations ensued in September 2016 soon after it was established that some units’ budgets were depleted yet unaccounted for. Further investigations revealed that personal particulars of other senior colleagues were used to submit fictitious application requesting cash advances and claims that varied from meals, accommodation costs and other assortment of claims.

The alleged fraudulent transactions were committed between April 2015 and September 2016, worth a total of more than R5.2 million. All six suspects are expected to appear before Bloemfontein Magistrates Court on Wednesday, 1 February 2017.

National Head of the Directorate for Priority Crime Investigation Lieutenant General Berning Ntlemeza has applauded the Hawks members for unearthing corruption and dealing with corrupt officials accordingly. “We continually say corruption will not be tolerated, even within our ranks. We are mandated to curb all corrupt activities and we will do that without fear or favour. These arrests should serve as a deterrent to other police officers and civil servants alike that the Hawks will stop at nothing in investigating corrupt activities and ensuring that those implicated face the wrath of the law”