Provincial police management has lauded the efforts of members of the Special Operations Team attached to Operational Response Service for their vigilance and tenacity in what we believe has broken the back of a fraud syndicate on the night of 8 February 2021.
The members were on crime combatting patrols in Mitchells Plain when two suspicious vehicles, a Toyota Avanza and a Toyota LDV drew their attention. Both vehicles were stopped and searched, which led to the discovery of 49 SASSA cards hidden in a chocolate box in the Avanza.
It was evident that the occupants of the two vehicles were in cahoots and their interrogation led the members to an address in Elbow Gardens in Rugby where a further 191 SASSA cards were seized.
The four male suspects aged 18, 33, 45 and 56 were arrested and further interrogated, as it was clear that they were heading somewhere with the cards before being apprehended.
Information extracted from the suspects resulted in a residence in the Bo Kaap, Cape Town being raided where 427 bank cards of various financial intuitions were confiscated. Two suspects, a 56-year-old female and a 32-year-old male were arrested.
While the suspects are awaiting their fate in a court of law for the possession of possible stolen property and for contravening the Electronic Transactions Act (No 25 of 2002), detectives are hard at work to probe the circumstances surrounding the arrests to ensure a successful prosecution and to determine if more arrests are possible.
Many vulnerable people who are solely depended on social grants are targeted by ruthless criminals with no regard for others, and this is one of the reasons that will make us dig deep to root out this syndicate and apprehend whoever is part of this criminal circle.