Gauteng Roads and Transport MEC Ismail Vadi. File picture: Princess Mahogo.

Johannesburg - The Rand West City vehicle licencing centre in Westonaria was closed on Wednesday as investigators raided the premises to identify officers alleged to be involved in fraudulent and corrupt activities.

Gauteng Roads and Transport MEC Ismail Vadi said the search and seizure was being conducted by the police and the Road Transport Management Corporation (RTMC) anti-corruption unit. Investigators were targeting seven staffers who allegedly re-registered stolen vehicles.

''What seems to be happening is that stolen cars are re-registered on the records of similar non-stolen cars in the system, and then these are sold to the public. When found at road blocks the cars are impounded, and the buyers are unable to recover their money from the sellers. This is an ongoing investigation and at the moment, we have targeted seven people [in the licensing centre],'' said Vadi.

Several houses will also be searched by the investigators.

Vadi's department revealed in 2013 that a possible 394 officials employed in motor vehicle registering centres in Tshwane, Ekurhuleni, Sedibeng and the West Rand are involved in fraudulent vehicle license activities estimated at R42 million.

Rand West City municipality was established after the 2016 local government elections by merging Randfontein and Westonaria local municipalities.  

African News Agency (ANA)