Four home affairs officials in Tzaneen, Limpopo, have been arrested in connection with a fake passport ring.
Provincial Hawks spokesperson Cpt Matimba Maluleke said SA citizens were allegedly recruited by the officials and paid R1 000 in exchange for their details to be used on passports that would be issued to foreign nationals.
Maluleke said the administration clerks are aged between 35 and 43.
“It is further alleged that all the processes of applying for a passport would be followed but when it comes to the photoshoot, they would call the foreign nationals to the booth. As a result, the passports would contain the particulars of South African citizens but the photos would be of illegal foreign nationals,” Maluleke said.
Maluleke said the home affairs counter corruption and security unit discovered these illegal activities in May and referred the matter to the Hawks’ serious corruption investigation team.
“During the investigations, it was revealed that the citizens whose particulars were used would be paid R1 000,” he said.
He said all four officials were expected to appear in the Tzaneen magistrate’s court on Friday (today)while authorities were on the lookout for more suspects. -Sowetanlive