File picture: Simphiwe Mbokazi/African News Agency (ANA)

Pietermaritzburg - Five people were arrested in Pietermaritzburg in the early hours of Saturday in connection with the illegal possession of South African Social Security Agency (Sassa) cards and contravening credit legislation, KwaZulu-Natal police said.

The arrests were made during a joint operation by police detectives and crime intelligence officers, and South African Post Office (Sapo) officials, Colonel Thembeka Mbele said.

''The arrests emanate from an extensive investigation by the investigating officers relating to Sassa-related issues,'' Mbele said.

''Police officers stormed onto the suspects' premises in Oribi Road, Pelham and found them in possession of 250 Sassa cards, nine cellphones, a laptop, and a memory stick. Two vehicles were also seized from the suspects.''

They were taken to Alexandra Road police station for detention and would be charged with contravening the Social Assistance Act and the National Credit Act. The police investigation was continuing and more arrests were expected.

The five arrested suspects, aged between 33 and 47, would appear in the Pietermaritzburg Magistrates Court soon,'' Mbele said.

African News Agency (ANA)