Yesterday, South African Police Service (SAPS), South African Social Security Agency (SASSA) and the National Credit Regulator (NCR) joined forces in an operation aimed at curbing fraud, money laundering and illegal retention of SASSA cards to enforce credit agreements.
The operation focused on persons making withdrawals from ATMS in the Nigel 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 focus of this kind of operation is primarily to identify credit providers who 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 (NCA) and it is a criminal offence”, says Jacqueline Peters Manager of the Investigations and Enforcements Department of the National Credit Regulator.
She says this partnership with SASSA and SAPS is part of the NCR’s 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 NCA. “The exploitation of vulnerable and unsuspecting consumers by credit providers will not be tolerated,” adds Peters
“We urge consumers who have handed their ID Books and pension cards to go to the Nigel police station to collect their instruments.” 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” concludes Peters.