File Photo: Matthew Jordaan.

CAPE TOWN - Metro police in Cape Town have uncovered an extensive forgery operation in Gugulethu that appeared to falsify anything from car licence discs to immigration documents, the city council said on Wednesday.

"On Tuesday... officers uncovered a forgery operation being run from a backyard printing shop and internet café in Gugulethu," mayoral committee member for safety JP Smith said.

 "They were following up information about suspected false motor vehicle license discs being issued, but came across far more than they bargained for. 

"A number of computers, documents and other items were seized, including templates for everything from medical certificates to identity documents, passports and documentation for asylum seekers and even a City of Cape Town payslip."

 A 36-year-old suspect was arrested and detained at Gugulethu police station.

Smith said the investigation continues and described the case as disturbing.

"Who knows how many fake documents have been produced by this operation, and how wide the net goes? Fraud and forgery are often forgotten, as they are not contact crimes, but they have the potential to pose a serious threat to the security and well-being of communities, and the country as a whole."

African News Agency (ANA)