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Cops, Home Affairs officials among 9 arrested for crossborder car smuggling

Hawks officials say the suspects allegedly worked in accord in arranging fraudulent documents to ensure a safe passage for stolen vehicles through the border.

FILE: Police investigating after another vehicle was recovered in Limpopo River. Picture: @SAPoliceService/Twitter.

JOHANNESBURG - The Hawks have arrested nine suspects, including police and Home Affairs officials for alleged cross-border vehicle theft.

They face charges of corruption, fraud and smuggling of suspected stolen vehicles out of South Africa.

Spokesperson Matimba Maluleke says the suspects allegedly worked in accord in arranging fraudulent documents to ensure a safe passage for stolen vehicles through the border, in exchange for bribes.

He says the five police officers who are stationed at Tom Burke SAPS and the border post respectively, as well as one Home Affairs official and three runners, were under Hawks radar since 2016, following complaints by the public.

“The arrests are a culmination of our investigative project named ‘mirror’ which is aimed at addressing corrupt officials and illegal activities which include smuggling of suspected stolen vehicles.”