Hawks arrest 12 suspected disability grant fraudsters

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A multi-disciplinary takedown operation conducted on Monday, 22 February 2021 by the Hawks’ Serious Corruption Investigation assisted by Tzaneen SAPS First Responders, Crime Intelligence Unit and SASSA officials resulted in the arrest of twelve (12) suspects aged between 31 and 59.

The suspects are from different parts of Tzaneen. They were arrested for alleged disability grant fraud and corruption.

SAPS reported that the suspects who are officials at the South African Social Security Agency(SASSA) allegedly conspired with an intermediary to recruit non-qualified people in the Tzaneen area to register for disability grant at a fee. It is alleged that the scheme ran between 2018 and 2019.

Investigations conducted by the Hawks revealed that 21 people were recruited into the scheme. They each received an amount of R3500 which resulted in a departmental loss of over R300 000 due to the illegal activity.

“The suspects who include three Nkowankowa SASSA officials, one intermediary and eight non-qualified SASSA beneficiaries will appear in the Tzaneen Magistrate’s Court soon to face fraud and corruption charges,” states Captain Matimba Maluleke.

SAPS will continue investigating as it is presumed that there are more suspects are involved.

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