Police have cracked down on a vehicle finance fraud syndicate operating in the Durban area and 14 suspects have been arrested following an intense operation.

Police spokesperson, Col Thembeka Mbele, said, “After a lengthy investigation, the team embarked on an operation which started on Sunday, 24 February until Monday, 25 February 2019. Their operation yielded fruitful results when a total of 14 suspects were arrested for fraud.

“They were arrested at different areas like Chatsworth, Phoenix and Montclair. They are between the ages of 24 and 58. A total of 15 vehicles were confiscated from the suspects. The total value of the recovered vehicles is approximately 15 million. The recovered vehicles have been handed over to the bank.
During the operation on Monday, the team recovered a Toyota Hilux double cab. The vehicle was stolen at Durban Central area on Friday. The suspects will appear in the Durban Magistrates’ Court on charges of fraud.”

Col Mbele added, “During 2017 and 2018, about 20 cases of motor finance applications were detected as fraudulent and were validated and approved by the bank employee. The modus operandi was to approach unemployed people and people who were desperate for money in order to get their Identity Document copies, conduct credit checks and process applications. The installments were not made to the bank and some of the vehicles were sold without the consent of the bank.

“Charges of fraud were opened at different police stations like Mayville, Point, Greenwood Park and Durban Central SAPS. The Provincial Commercial Crime Investigation Unit under the command of Colonel Makhosazane Ntuli took over the investigation.”