PRETORIA, July 17 – The elite unit of the South African Police Service, the Hawks, on Friday said a syndicate of alleged fraudsters has appeared in the Delmas Magistrate’s Court on charges of theft of motor vehicles.
The Hawks named Billy Ndlovu, 54, Clarance Makhubela, 34, and Lawrence Munyai, 33, as part of a group which was nabbed on Tuesday.
“It is alleged that the suspects, led by Ndlovu, targeted vehicle owners who were in arrears with their car finance loan instalments and pretended to be the bank officials tasked with repossessing the vehicles,” said Hawks provincial spokesperson in Mpumalanga Captain Dineo Lucy Sekgotodi.
The matter was reported to the police when one victim’s vehicle was “repossessed” by a fraudster after the car owner had made a payment arrangement with the bank.
“She approached the bank again, complaining about their actions, and learned that she was a victim of crime. A sting operation was conducted on Tuesday, following the information received about the suspects who were allegedly selling vehicles at a lower-than-market value,” said Sekgotodi.
She said the suspects were found in possession of vehicles that had been “repossessed” from one of the victims in Acornhoek, Mpumalanga.
“They (the accused) appeared before the Delmas Magistrate’s Court on Thursday where Makhubela and Munyai were granted R5,000 (about US$300) bail each. The case against two other suspects was withdrawn,” said Sekgotodi.
“The middleman, Ndlovu, was remanded in custody and the case is postponed to 23 July 2020. The matter has since been referred to the Hawks’ serious organised crime investigation team in Mpumalanga to continue to probe the matter further.”
The police in Mpumalanga are appealing to community members whose vehicles were recently repossessed to contact their financial institutions for confirmation, and if necessary to open cases at their nearest police stations. The investigating officer on the case was given as Warrant Officer Makgamatha.
– African News Agency (ANA)