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Hawks dismantle Tzaneen passport fraud ring

The Hawks and Home Affairs Counter Corruption and Security arrested four former Tzaneen Home Affairs Department administration clerks on Wednesday for alleged fraud and corruption in selling passports to foreigners.

The suspects are expected to appear in Tzaneen Magistrate’s Court [today]Friday.

Captain Matimba Maluleke, the spokesperson for the Hawks, said the suspects aged 35 and 43 collaborated with the runners to recruit South African citizens to apply on behalf of illegal foreigners.

“It is alleged that all the processes of applying for a passport will be followed, but when it comes to photo shoots, they will call foreign nationals to a booth. As a result, passports will contain the details of South Africans but the photos will be of illegal foreigners,” said Captain Maluleke.

He said during the investigations, it was revealed that citizens whose details were used would be paid R1000.

Captain Maluleke said it had been a long time coming, but the Home Affairs Counter Corruption and Security unit finally uncovered these illegal activities in May this year.

He said the matter was promptly referred to the Hawks for investigation.

Captain Maluleke said  investigations are continuing.

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