Information from the South African Police Service (SAPS) has it that ten police officers and five Home Affairs officials have been arrested for contributing to the Lesotho illegal immigrants problem of South Africa.
As informed, the Hawks in conjunction with the Free State Home Affairs officials, SAPS members and Crime Intelligence arrested eighteen people for corruption at the Ficksburg Border Post which connects South Africa and Lesotho.
It was alleged that the suspects – 10 police officers, 5 Home affairs officials and 3 runners – were frustrating efforts to solve the nation’s Lesotho illegal immigrants problem.
They were involved in the fraudulent endorsement of expired passports or travel documents in exchange of money or other forms of gratification.
According to SAPS, the bust at the Ficksburg border is the fourth of its kind. Hawks made similar bust at the Beit Bridge Border Post in Musina, Limpopo, Vioolsdrift Port of Entry in Northern Cape and the Maseru Port of Entry.
BuzzSouthAfrica learnt that the National Head of the Directorate for Priority Crime Investigation Lieutenant General Mthandazo Ntlemeza, physically attended the operation. Speaking, Lieutenant General Ntlemeza reiterated that the Hawks wouldn’t stop striving to kill corruption at the ports of entries.
Also speaking, the Acting National Police Commissioner, Lieutenant General Khomotso Phahlane praised the crime fighter who participated in the operation that yielded the arrests. Lieutenant General Phahlane said:
“The arrest of our own is both disheartening and pleasing at the same time because this gives us an opportunity to identify the corrupt elements within the system.
“Other members should draw lessons from this, and this should serve as a deterrence within our organisation to those officials who may be involved in corrupt-related activities.”
Meanwhile, the suspects will be appearing before the Ficksburg Magistrate’s Court on Thursday, 30 March 2017. There, they will face charges of fraud, corruption and the Contravention of the Immigration Act.