Investigations underway into stolen UK visa applications

South Africans applying for visas lost all their personal documents when a courier vehicle was hijacked.

A sign for the London underground. Picture:

JOHANNESBURG - The British High Commission has released a statement saying it's doing everything it can to assist people who lost their UK visa applications and supporting documents, following a hijacking in Johannesburg.

Eyewitness News (EWN) has learnt that scores of South Africans applying for visas either for business, pleasure or permanent relocation, lost all their personal documents when a courier vehicle was hijacked on Monday.

It's unclear why the courier vehicle carrying the sensitive and confidential documents was targeted but a case has been opened at the Bedfordview Police Station and investigations are underway.

The British High Commission's Isabel Potgieter says they are trying to assist those affected.

"We take the safety and protection of personal data extremely seriously. UK visas and immigration is working closely with our partner, Teleperformance, to ensure that customers are supported throughout."

EWN has been in contact with some of the people affected.

They're not only concerned about their personal details such as home addresses, banking information and marriage certificates now in someone else's hands, but are also worried about the potential delays in relocating to the UK.

A Johannesburg man, who is one of the people affected, earlier said he was deeply concerned.

"All the supporting documentation with the actual passports is actually gone; banking details, home addresses and marriage certificates. I cannot understand how the visa centre could actually entrust our documents into a commercial courier company."