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Five suspects who are accused of selling South African IDs for foreign nationals to create passports to enter into the country have been remanded in police custody following a brief appearance in the White River Magistrates Court.
A 39 years old Nhlanhla Mathebula, 36 Mohamed Ali, 32 years old Gabriel Samuel Van der Merwe, 38 years old Christopher Marillier and 30 years old Sfiso Kheswa, were arrested by the Hawks Serious Corruption Investigation team based in Nelspruit on Thursday, 19 May 2022 at Eldorado Park in Gauteng and White River.
Hawks Spokesperson Captain Dineo Lucy Sekgotodi said that the arrest of the said suspects followed an investigation which revealed that on 13 October 2021 Mathebula colluded with the alleged kingpin, Ali from Pakistan who recruited South African citizens to offer their personal details in order for foreigners to get RSA passports using them in exchange of payment.
They would allegedly use all personal information belonging to South Africans but would only put in their pictures instead.
“This was reportedly facilitated by Home Affairs officials after hours. The SA citizens were allegedly paid R500 00 each for the utilisation of their particulars by the foreign nationals.”
Their case was postponed to May 25th for formal bail application.
The Hawks only managed to arrest SA citizens, accused foreign nationals are still at large. A manhunt has been issued against them.
Police have pleaded with anyone who might know of the whereabouts of the suspects to contact investigating officers Capt Samson Kolobe on 071 481 3126 and W/O Phelani Twala on 071 481 3437.