PRETORIA, A joint operation carried out by the South African Police Service (SAPS), the National Credit Regulator (NCR) and the South African Social Security Agency (SASSA) to curb fraud and illegal retention of SASSA cards has led to the arrest of 11 people, the NCR and the SAPS say.
The operation focused on persons making withdrawals from ATMS (automated teller machiness) in the Nigel, Johannesburg, area in the early hours of this morning, just after SASSA grant recipients’ monies had been dispersed to their accounts. A total of 11 individuals were arrested, the suspects were found to be in possession of thousands of cards. Criminal cases have been opened and the suspects will appear in court tomorrow, the two agencies said in a statement here Wednesday.
The focus of Tuesday’s operation, said the NCR, which is an agency of the Department of Trade and Industry, was primarily to identify credit providers which are unlawfully retaining pension cards, bank cards, identity documents and personal identity numbers (PIN) of their clients as surety.
Retaining these cards is a contravention of the National Credit Act and it is a criminal offence, said the NCR’s Manager of the Investigations and Enforcements Department, Jacqueline Peters, who added that the NCR’s partnership with SASSA and the SAPS was part of its ongoing strategy to root out predatory lending practices and to ensure that all credit providers, no matter where they conduct business, comply with the provisions of the National Credit Act.
The exploitation of vulnerable and unsuspecting consumers by credit providers will not be tolerated, said Peters, who urged consumers who have handed over their ID books and pension cards to credit providers to go to the Nigel police station to collect them.
Consumers are cautioned to avoid credit providers who require them to hand over their ID books or cards as it is a criminal offence and it is usually coupled with reckless lending and overcharging she said.
Source: NAM NEWS NETWORK