Police minister Bheki Cele flanked by Hawks head Lt-Gen Godfrey Lebeya [left] and national police commissioner Khehla Sitole during a press briefing in Pretoria. Photo: Jonisayi Maromo / African News Agency (ANA)

Pretoria - The South African Police Service (SAPS) has arrested two Danish citizens, Anna Britta Nielsen, 64, and her son Jimmy Hayat who have been wanted by police in Denmark for fraud involving R247 million, approximately 100 million in krone.

Police Minister Bheki Cele announced the pair's arrest when he addressed media in Pretoria on Tuesday.

"On the evening of the 30 October, Hayat was arrested by the SAPS at OR Tambo International Airport on his one-way ticket trip out of the country. R5 000 cash was seized from him. Two diamonds were found from his bags that were delivered by his associate," said Cele.

Hayat has appeared in the Kempton Park Magistrate's Court and his case was postponed to November 8.

On Monday night, police pounced on the mother, Nielsen, in the plush suburb of Sandton and an amount of R648 700 in cash was confiscated. 

Police Minister Bheki Cele announces the arrest of two Danish citizens, Anna Britta Nielsen, 64, and her son Jimmy Hayat who have been wanted by police in Denmark for fraud involving of R247 million. Video: Jonisayi Maromo / African News Agency (ANA)

"She appeared at Randburg Court and her case was [also] postponed to the November 8th for an extradition enquiry," said Cele.

"Arrests of this nature serve as a warning to all other people who commit crimes and seek refuge in our country. South Africa is not a safe heaven for criminals."

A Danish police officer was present as Cele addressed media in Pretoria.

According to the Copenhagen Post, Nielsen swindled the Danish government out of 111 million Krone over a 16-year period. 

She is also reportedly being investigated for suspicious transactions going back as far as 1997. Nielsen worked at the Socialstyrelsen (National Board of Social Services) social authority for 40 years.

African News Agency (ANA)