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Three people have been arrested after they allegedly purchased cars at Limpopo auctions with fraudulent bank documents, police said on Wednesday.
In July last year the provincial health and social development department held a number of auctions to sell their old cars, police spokesman Brigadier Hangwani Mulaudzi said.
“Interested parties, including members of the public, were required to pay a R5000 registration fee.”
Mulaudzi said a criminal syndicate produced forged bank deposit slips in order to register. The group then successfully bid for 11 cars worth R300 000. Again, they created bank deposit slips to trick the department into thinking they had paid for the vehicles.
The syndicate then sold the cars off to other people for cash. These people were unaware the cars had been stolen.
“Last week the department realised that they were duped and opened a case of fraud and theft.”
The Hawks began an investigation and on Wednesday three people, including the alleged kingpin, were arrested. Mulaudzi said the kingpin was an “IT guru” who used his computers to generate the false banking paperwork. All his equipment was seized.
Six cars were subsequently recovered in Polokwane, Seshego and Thohoyandou.
The arrested men would appear in the Polokwane Magistrate's Court shortly. - Sapa