20 June, 2011
A Ghanaian has been arrested for allegedly setting up his own Department of Home Affairs.
He was taken into custody in an operation involving the police's crime intelligence unit and the Johannesburg metro police after being found in possession of Department of Home Affairs equipment.
He allegedly used it to produce fraudulent documents, including passports, visas, identity documents, driver's licences, marriage, birth and death certificates - and US dollars.
The 44-year-old, who was arrested in Yeoville, Johannesburg, on Friday, was expected to appear in the Johannesburg Magistrate's Court today.
Johannesburg police spokesman Lieutenant-Colonel Lungelo Dlamini said the man would face charges of fraud, malicious damage to property, contravening the Counterfeit Act and bribery.
He allegedly tried to pay the officers on the scene a R3000 bribe.
Other charges include possession of Home Affairs property and impersonating a department official.
Dlamini alleged that the man removed bar-codes and identity numbers from genuine identity books and pasted them into fraudulent ones.
Also found on his property were blank visas, security tapes for new passports, blank Lesotho passports, original Home Affairs documents, traffic department documents and rubber stamps for the Johannesburg and Germiston offices of Home Affairs.
Credit cards and driver's licences from countries that included Zambia, Angola, Brazil and Namibia were also found at the premises.
Dlamini said more people were likely to be arrested.
- Three Home Affairs officials are expected to appear in the Lebowakgomo Magistrate's Court, near Polokwane, today on charges of fraud.
They were arrested in a joint operation by the Department of Home Affairs and the Hawks.