Lieutenant-Colonel Philani Nkwalase  Picture: WhatsApp
Lieutenant-Colonel Philani Nkwalase Picture: WhatsApp

Hawks arrest alleged syndicate kingpin in PE over R13.9m vehicle fraud

By Robin-Lee Francke Time of article published May 12, 2020

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Cape Town – The  Directorate for Priority Crime Investigation (Hawks) have arrested a man dubbed the kingpin of vehicle financing in the Eastern Cape on charges of fraud worth R13.9 million.

The Hawks Serious Commercial Crime Investigation Unit in the Eastern Cape, which has been working tirelessly to curtail vehicle fraud, says it has finally hit the jackpot after the arrest of a 52-year-old man, who is alleged to be the head of the syndicate operating in Port Elizabeth and East London.

Hawks spokesperson Lieutenant-Colonel Philani Nkwalase said the suspect has been linked to fraud cases spanning from 2013 to 2019.

“He (the suspect) is allegedly linked to a total of 22 cases of fraud worth over R13.9 million and these cases happened in Port Elizabeth and East London between January 2013 and July 2019,” Nkwalase said.

He said the suspect, along with other members of the alleged syndicate, made vehicle loans at various banking institutions using fraudulent documentation for approval. 

“The suspect, along with his accomplices, allegedly applied for loans at different banks using fraudulent payslips and bank statements. Upon approval and receipt of these vehicles, no follow-up payments were made.

“They also recruited runners who also make these applications and vehicle purchases,” Nkwalase said. 

The suspect, who was arrested in Port Elizabeth on Monday, is expected to appear on a range of charges, including money laundering, in the East London Magistrate’s Court on Wednesday. 

“He is facing multiple charges of fraud, theft, money laundering, forgery and uttering. More arrests are imminent,” Nkwalase said.

African News Agency (ANA)

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