A Home Affairs official arrested for fraud at the department’s head offices in the Pretoria CBD hides from the cameras.Picture: Peggy Nkomo/Home Affairs

A HOME Affairs official, 35, was pulled out of his work station yesterday and hauled to the police station for fraudulent acts - suspected of changing the statuses of illegal foreign nationals without authorisation.

The arrest of the official took place at the department’s head offices in Pretoria CBD.

The suspect was taken to the Pretoria Central police station.

Home Affairs spokesperson Thabo Mokgola told the Pretoria News that the suspect had allegedly worked with foreign nationals and removed markers that declared them illegal.

“Similarly, if the person had been barred from coming into the country for a certain period, the suspect would allegedly go on to the system and remove the information to allow them to enter the country,” he said.

The removal of illegal markers was nothing new but officials needed to get authorisation, Mokgola said.

“In most cases you find that an individual is incorrectly marked as illegal, and upon investigation they remove the marker.

"But our view is that he did that without any authorisation hence the arrest but investigations will reveal everything,” he said.

Although they did not know the reason why the man allegedly committing the fraud, Mokgola said it was logical that someone would do such for an incentive of some sort.

However, he said investigations were under way and the department and police would work together.

He said the arrest was part of the department’s counter-corruption project, called Operation Bvisa Masina (TshiVenda for throw out the rot), and it was with this unit that detectedsomething suspicious was going on.

Mokgola said operation Bvisa Masina aimed to end corruption within the department as there was only space for one type of an official at Home Affairs.

And that space was for an official that was incorruptible, honest with the purpose to serve the masses of the country.