Fraud suspects run as department closes in

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When Suzannah Patterson heard screams she thought it was from a hijacking, only to find scores of R100 notes fluttering in the wind.

Johannesburg - The lid has been blown off the fraudulent and corrupt dealings of three employees of the Gauteng Department of Transport, Roads and Community Safety - but the suspects are nowhere to be found.

A three-month internal investigation has revealed that the three were involved in creating fake confirmation letters using the department’s letterhead.

The letters indicated that people had passed Grade 12, were employees of the department and had a clean criminal record – all in exchange for R5 000.

The department’s spokesman, Thapelo Moiloa, said: “We were tipped off by people working within the system that this was going on.

“Four out of five trainees at the Boekenhout Traffic College in Pretoria were found with these false documents.”

They were taken off the training programme.

Moiloa said that, with the help of the Ekurhuleni Organised Crime Unit, the department had been able to build a “watertight case” against the suspects.

On Monday, a group of departmental officials swooped on the Market Street, central Joburg, offices where the suspects worked, but they found an empty nest.

“Today, unfortunately for us and fortunately for them, they ran away, but we are still going to pursue their arrest,” Moila said.

He confirmed that the suspects would be charged with fraud and corruption once they were arrested.

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