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Hawks make arrests across Gauteng

Hawks Gauteng spokesperson Katlego Mogale. Picture: Rafieka Williams/Cape Argus

Hawks Gauteng spokesperson Katlego Mogale. Picture: Rafieka Williams/Cape Argus

Published Nov 16, 2023


A number of suspects have been nabbed for serious crimes including murder, attempted murder, and drug trafficking and are set to appear in court in Gauteng.

Kevin-Kumar Patel is expected to appear before the Palm Ridge Court next week on charges of Contravention of the Customs and Excise Act and Counterfeit Goods Act.

On Monday, the Hawks, metro police and the Johannesburg Flying Squad arrived at the BBS Deco Park in Lenasia.

The Hawks had received information about a warehouse in Lenasia where employees were repacking liquor which was suspected to be counterfeit.

On arrival at the warehouse, the suspect was contacted but said he would only be available on Wednesday. Police entered the warehouse and found several brands of alcohol. The suspect then appeared out nowhere and was arrested.

Hawks’s Warrant Officer Wendy Nkabi said 197 cases of liquor with a street value of R1.5 million were seized.

Patel will appear again on November 22 for a bail application.

In another incident, a 45-year-old optometrist and his company are expected to appear before the Pretoria Commercial Crime Court on November 24 for contravention of the Prevention of Organised Crime Act, money laundering and fraud.

It is alleged that from 2015 to the beginning of 2020, the former deputy director and the suspect, under the employee health and wellness programme, had devised and engaged in a scheme to defraud the Department of Employment and Labour of more than R2 million.

The scheme involved the fraudulent submission of invoices by the former deputy director for employee health and wellness services rendered by the suspect’s company. These services, however, were never provided.

In addition, the former deputy director used business records of the suspect’s company to conclude irregular contracts including generating and submitting fraudulent invoices to the department. Some invoices included names of the employees throughout the country and others were fictitious names.

Nkabi said the employees denied ever receiving the services from the suspect’s company. Payments received from the department for the fraudulent invoices were allegedly shared by the pair.

In another incident, a 47-year-old company director is expected to appear before the Randburg Magistrate’s Court on December 12 after she was arrested by the Gauteng Serious Commercial Crimes unit.

It is alleged that the suspect had registered a company with South African Revenue Service (Sars) for Company Income Tax, Pay As You Earn (PAYE) and VAT but failed to submit the Sars returns from 2020 to 2023.

“SARS had suffered prejudice of an unknown amount and with all counts is calculated to a fine of R1 000 each and in total it amounts to R4.7 million,” said Nkabi.

Meanwhile, five suspects were arrested yesterday in an operation led by the Hawks at OR Tambo International Airport on allegations of drug trafficking, contravention of the Civil Aviation Act and contravention of the Customs and Excise Act after a large drugs consignment was recently confiscated in Australia and two suspects arrested.

Hawks Gauteng spokesperson Katlego Mogale said the suspects, employees of companies operating at the airport, were alleged to have facilitated the transport of drugs into and out of the airport.

Mogale said two suspects employed by Acsa, two suspects from Menzies Aviation and one from Swissport were arrested. They will be appear in the Kempton Park Magistrate’s Court on Friday.

He said this was the first operation related to transnational drug trafficking through OR Tambo International Airport in which a drug seizure made abroad was positively linked to suspects in South Africa.

The head of the Hawks in Gauteng, Major General Ebrahim Kadwa, applauded the investigation team for their effort in ridding the airport of “unsavoury characters” tarnishing its name and the country.