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2013-01-03 09:11

HAWKS BUST CRIME SYNDICATE: Despite nabbing the fraudsters, it's amazing to think that the criminals got away with duping the Limpopo government for months.

POLOKWANE - Three people have been arrested for buying vehicles with fake documentation at provincial vehicle auctions in Limpopo.

Limpopo police spokesman Brigadier Hangwani Mulaudzi said that in July 2012 the provincial health and social development department held a number of auctions to sell their old vehicles.

"Interested parties, including members of the public, were required to pay a R5000 registration fee."

KINGPIN ARRESTED

He said a criminal syndicate produced forged bank deposit slips to register. The gang then successfully bid on 11 cars for R300 000.

They created fake bank deposit slips to trick the department into thinking they had paid for the vehicles. The syndicate then sold the cars to buyers who were unaware the cars had been stolen.

Mulaudzi said: "(In December 2012) the department realised that they were duped and opened a case of fraud and theft."

The Hawks began an investigation and in January 2013 three people, including the alleged gang leader, were arrested.

Mulaudzi said the leader was "an IT guru" who used computers to print fake paperwork.

Six vehicles were subsequently recovered in Polokwane, Seshego and Thohoyandou and those arrested will appear in court in Polokwane.

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