Wednesday, 15 May 2019

Bloemfontein: The termination of Operation Project Combat on the 13 May 2019, led to the arrest of 30 females implicated in defrauding the state through social grants, in various Sections in Botshabelo.

The operation which was led by Provincial Organised Crime Unit comprised of Crime Intelligence; Public Order Police; Criminal Record Centre and detective, commenced on the 13 May 2019, until the early hours of 14 May 2019.

The project which was launched in July 2018, was informed by a crime intelligence led information on fraud committed by underserving SASSA beneficiaries who were applying for social grants.

Amongst the arrested is a 41 year old woman alleged to be the mastermind behind the scam, who targeted vulnerable unsuspecting people and issued them with fraudulent doctor`s referral letters qualifying them to apply for grants.

She would allegedly charge them any amount ranging from R200 for the service. Various fraudulent documents and stamps were found at her house. Unsuspecting victims were made to believe that the said woman was the doctor`s assistant who was authorized with performing these duties whilst the doctor was on leave.

“This is the first phase of the operation, more arrests are still imminent. We are calling on those who know that they were part of this scam or are fraudulent beneficiaries of government grants, to come forward and hand themselves, because it is just a matter of time before we arrest them” said Lieutenant General Moeketsi Sempe.

He added by saying that any form of fraud and corruption against government will not be tolerated.

“We will arrest whoever is involved without fear of favour.” he concluded.

Beneficiaries are advised to call SASSA on 0800 60 1011 whenever they are offered any service relating to grants for money, no matter how little the charge could be.

Suspects will appear at Botshabelo Magistrate court on Wednesday,15 May 2019 on the charges of fraud.