Hawks posers arrested for alleged fraud and corruption
Two suspects are expected to appear before the Marble Hall Magistrate’s Court, in Limpopo, on Monday for allegedly posing as Hawks officials.
Fake Hawks suspects caught in a swindle
DPCI spokesperson Captain Matimba Maluleke confirmed in a statement that the two suspects, aged 24 and 27 respectively, face charges of fraud and corruption after they were nabbed in a sting operation.
It’s believed the suspects gained intelligence on a business owner whose company had recently won a tender “to supply COVID-19 personal protective equipment in Mpumalanga.”
Seeing an opportunity to get away with a swindle, the suspects allegedly contacted the businessman claiming they were part of a Hawks team that was investigating his tender procurement.
“It is further alleged that the suspect told the victim that he was investigating a case of corruption against him and demanded R50 000-00 in order to squash the docket,” Maluleke noted.
Hook-line-sinker sting operation works like a charm
Not falling for the con, the businessman took this information to the police and the matter was assigned to the Hawks’ Serious Corruption Investigation Unit.
A sting operation was set up to lure the suspects to a portion of the ransom. It isn’t entirely clear if the businessman agreed to the full ransom amount.
However, we understand that an agreement was made for payment of R20 000. Sure enough, the plan worked.
As soon as the businessman funnelled the money over to the suspects, the real Hawks swooped in and made the arrests.
“Preliminary investigation revealed that the suspects are not members of the Hawks as they allegedly claimed. They were also found in possession of fraudulent documents with the Hawks logo,” Maluleke added.
The identities of the suspects will only be revealed once they have appeared in court. It is believed the suspects will attempt to apply for bail.