FREE STATE - Operation 'Project Combat' led to the arrest of 30 suspects who are implicated in defrauding the state through social grants. The suspects, all females will appear at Botshabelo Magistrate court today, Tuesday 14 May 2019, on the charge of fraud.
The operation which was led by Provincial Organised Crime Unit and comprised of Crime Intelligence, detectives, POP and LCRC commenced at 16:30 yesterday until early hours today.
The project which was launched in July 2018 was informed by a crime intelligence led information on fraud committed by undeserving SASSA beneficiaries who were applying for government grants.
Amongst the arrested is a 41-year-old female alleged to be the master mind behind the scam, who was targeting vulnerable unsuspecting people and issued them with fraudulent doctor's referral letter qualifying them to apply for grants. She would allegedly charge them any amount ranging from R200 for the service. Various fraudulent documents and stamps were found at her house. It is alleged that this woman made unsuspecting victim to believe that she was a doctor's assistant, who was authorised with performing these duties whilst the doctor was on leave.
This is the first phase of the operation, more arrests are still imminent. Any form of fraud and corruption against government will not be tolerated. We will arrest whoever is involved without fear of favour," said Lieutenant General Moeketsi Sempe.
Beneficiaries are advised to call SASSA on 0800 60 1011 whenever they are offered services relating to grants for money, no matter how little the charge.
Source: South African Police Service