Errant debt collectors nabbed in N Cape

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Pretoria - Fifteen people have been arrested following a joint operation by the National Credit Regulator (NCR) and the police to curb the use of bullying tactics to collect money from debtors.

The operation dubbed "Project Blitzkrieg" between the NCR and the South African Police Services (SAPS) primarily focused on both registered and unregistered credit providers, who are unlawfully retaining pension cards, bank cards, identity documents and personal identity numbers (PIN) of their clients as surety.

"This was a contravention of the National Credit Act (NCA)," Advocate Zweli Zakwe, Acting Manager for Investigations and Enforcement at the NCR, said on Tuesday.

Of the 15 that were arrested following the two-day operation in the Northern Cape, seven were people working for credit providers.

The suspects were found in possession of an accumulative number of over 577 pension cards, 114 ID books and 620 bank cards.

The operation took place in De Aar, Petrusville, Noupoort and Colesberg, where searches were done on the premises of registered and unregistered credit providers.

"The exploitation of vulnerable and unsuspecting consumers by credit providers will not be tolerated," said Zakwe, thanking the police for their assistance.

The NCR conducted a Blitzkrieg in Port Elizabeth in October 2011 and operations will be extended to other parts of the country.

The NCR is responsible for the regulation of the country's credit industry.