Newcastle, KwaZulu-Natal law enforcement agencies have made significant progress in their ongoing battle against crime by successfully dismantling a syndicate responsible for targeting local businesses.
The syndicate had been defrauding businesses and causing substantial losses.
In a previous report by Newcastillian News in April 2022, it was highlighted that three individuals had been apprehended for defrauding a local business of approximately R50,000 worth of stock.
The perpetrators had posed as legitimate clients, placing orders and providing false proof of payment. Once the goods were collected, it was discovered that no actual payment had been made.
Although charges were pressed against the three suspects, the syndicate’s operations persisted with the mastermind behind the scheme constantly eluding capture.
However, on Sunday, May 28, 2023, the Newcastle Crime Fighter Task Team, in collaboration with the Newcastle K9 Unit, Newcastle Detectives, and the Optimus Protection Service, launched a targeted operation to crack down on the syndicate.
Imran Ghafoor, a member of the Newcastle Crime Fighter Task Team, provided insight into the operation.
He revealed that although only two cases with the same modus operandi had been reported to the South African Police Service (SAPS), an undercover investigation was initiated to expose the syndicate’s activities. The joint forces of law enforcement agencies worked throughout the day and into the night to ensure the criminals were brought to justice.
Ghafoor stated, “The operation initially led us to the Osizweni area, where we apprehended three suspects who were then taken into custody for further investigation.” Subsequent leads brought the law enforcement team back to Newcastle, resulting in the arrest of two additional suspects in the Arbor Park area.
Finally, the mastermind behind the fraudulent operations was located and detained. Additionally, some of the stolen stock was recovered.
Commending the dedication and commitment of the operation team, Ghafoor expressed his gratitude. Whereby, he emphasised that their efforts played a vital role in bringing the syndicate to book.
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