- The Krugersdorp Magistrate's Court has granted bail to 26 out of the 27 suspects in the Home Affairs fake passport syndicate
- The syndicate would sell fraudulent South African passports and documents to foreign nationals for R40 000
- Some South Africans and political organisation ActionSA are not happy with the court's decision to grant the suspects bail
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JOHANNESBURG - The 27 individuals who were arrested in relation to Home Affairs passport syndicate last month made an appearance in the Krugersdorp Magistrate's Court on Thursday, 12 May for their bail hearing.
Among those arrested were two Home Affairs officials and a Pakistani man, believed to be the kingpin of the syndicate. The syndicate was allegedly selling fraudulent South African passports and documents.
The syndicate would pay locals R500 for use of their identity for the fake passport. The fake passport was then sold for R40 000 to foreign nationals.
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The Magistrate's Court granted 26 of the 27 suspects bail of R2 000 each, however, the s alleged mastermind was denied bail and is to remain in jail, according to eNCA. The matter has been postponed until 5 July while investigations continue.
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ActionSA unhappy with the court granting 26 fake passport syndicate suspects bail
Herman Mashaba, the leader of ActionSA, is not happy with the court's decision to grant the men implicated in the Home Affairs fake passport syndicate, reports TimesLIVE.
“ActionSA regrets the outcome of the bail application hearing of the 27 people accused of allegedly being involved in the passport fraud syndicate," said Mashaba.
Mashaba says the organisation respects the court's decision, however, the party believes that all 27 suspects should have been kept in jail. ActionSA says it will keep a close eye on the case and hopes that if the suspects are found guilty, an example will be made of the syndicate.
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South Africans weigh on the accused receiving bail
Some South Africans were not happy with the court granting the suspects in the fake passport syndicate bail, while others were not surprised.
Here are some comments below:
"@HomeAffairsSA SA judges do not take seriously the sabotage of these illegal documents, this amount is very low… Adv was asked R10K… something is wrong…"
"We knew it was going to happen anyway."
"They'll never be seen or heard off in this country, they simply cross to Zimbabwe through the fence. Simple as that."
"Imagine granting bail to passport fraudsters, only in SA."
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The fraudster is said to have been creating fake identification documents, driver's licences, bank cards, SASSA cards and more, all from the comfort of his own apartment.
Lt-Gen Elias Mawela, SAPS Gauteng provincial commissioner, stated that the police received tip-offs from members of the public while carrying out foot patrol as part of operation O Kae Molao ("Where Is the Law"), according to TimesLIVE.
Source: Briefly News