The department of home affairs has suspended four more officials liked to the passport fraud operations involving Pakistani nationals, Home Affairs Minister Aaron Motsoaledi has confirmed.
Motsoaledi told parliament on Wednesday that the four officials are linked to the Pakistani kingpin on passport fraud who was arrested in Krugersdorp in March.
A multi-disciplinary operation involving the Hawks’ Serious Organised Crime Investigation, cash-in-transit task team, Department of Home Affairs’ Anti-Corruption, and Johannesburg Central Tactical Response Team, in March arrested 29 suspects for alleged fraud, corruption, contravention of the Immigration Act and possession of suspected fraudulent documents.
The suspects were arrested at the Home Affairs office in Krugersdorp, following intelligence received regarding the fraudulent passport allegations countrywide.
According to the home affairs minister, the arrested kingpin and his syndicate had been operating in South Africa’s six provinces, excluding the Northern Cape, Free State and North West.
“We remain unflinching in our commitment to fight corruption anywhere it raises its ugly head within Home Affairs,” Motsoaledi said on Wednesday.
“In the coming weeks we will continue to arrest more people, both foreign nationals and South Africans involved in passports fraud and other forms of identity theft as well as corruption. Members of the public give us credible information about corruption taking place at Home Affairs. We value this partnership and we follow up on each lead.”
Motsoaledi further called on South Africans to stop selling their identities to foreign nationals.
“We continue to be concerned about those South Africans who are willing to sell their identities. Such acts mean that those South Africans lose their status in the country, to be replaced by a foreign national. We urge South Africans to stop selling their identities.”