NORTHERN CAPE – Two suspects aged 34 and 39 have been summoned to appear in the Kimberley Regional Court for alleged fraud and money laundering.

A satellite office of AutoZone, manned by an employee of the company, was accommodated on the premises of the Kimberley SAPS Garage. All vehicle body parts orders as requested by the SAPS were captured on site.

It is alleged that during November 2012 and December 2013, vehicle parts were procured as buy-outs from Eagle Motor Spares by the Kimberley AutoZone employee. It is further alleged that parts were delivered by Eagle Motor Spares to the SAPS Garage for which AutoZone paid.

During the end of 2013 AutoZone queried the SAPS for non-payment of vehicle body parts which were ordered and delivered. An internal investigation by AutoZone revealed that an amount of approximately R1.3 million was still outstanding on the goods delivered to the SAPS.

The Hawks Serious Corruption Investigation team was roped in to investigate and it was found that the employee from AutoZone and the owner of Eagle Motor Spares colluded to defraud AutoZone.

In terms of section 50(1) (a) of the Prevention of Organised Crime Act 121 of 1998 (POCA), the Hawks seized two vehicles from the suspects which were later sold at an auction for R135 592. The money was deposited into the Criminal Asset Recovery Account (CARA) fund.

Both suspects have since been summoned to appear at the Kimberley Regional Court on Wednesday, 14 October 2020.