Fake driving licence syndicate bust in Bloem

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Pretoria - Transport Minister Sibusiso Ndebele has welcomed the arrest of five suspects, believed to be part of a syndicate selling fake learner and driving licences in and around Bloemfontein.

Five suspects, including three men and two women, were arrested on Wednesday during raids that started on Tuesday.

During the raids police also seized a computer and a colour printer believed to have been used to develop the fake licences.

"We want to commend the South African Police Services and all other role-players on these arrests, which form part of a forensic investigation that was initiated by the Department of Transport into allegations of fraud and corruption relating to learner and driving licences around the country," Ndebele said on Thursday.

The operation started three weeks ago after information was received about people developing and selling learners and driving licences.

Ndebele warned that more arrests in other provinces could be expected in the next few days.

He appealed to members of the public who may have any information that may assist in these investigations to contact their local police.

In addressing fraud and corruption in the driving licence system, Ndebele said the department was moving towards computerised testing systems and has rolled out mobile and fixed stations in parts of the country.

KwaZulu-Natal already has 21 fixed stations and two mobile stations including one fixed station and two mobile stations in Gauteng as well as three fixed stations and one mobile station in Mpumalanga.

"Working with Home Affairs, we will also ensure, as of next year, that our new driving licence cards have enhanced security and unquestionable integrity to be accepted in our country and internationally," he said.

The contract of the current service provider for the drivers' smart cards, which expired on 30 April 2009 was extended to 31 December 2009 to allow for a proper tender process.

Ndebele said a new service provider will be appointed.