Hawks swoop on eThekwini Municipality officials and service providers and seize items

PRETORIA – A simultaneous search and seizure operation was conducted on Tuesday at fifteen (15) premises out the eighteen (18) properties in Durban and surrounding areas of various officials from eThekwini Municipality Water and Sanitation Unit and service providers as part of an ongoing investigation into alleged fraud, corruption and money laundering.
The National Clean Audit Task Team of the Hawks in June 2020 discovered that R200 million was allegedly siphoned from the municipality and it has now been determined that a further R500 million has allegedly been embezzled from the department.
It is alleged the R700 million are proceeds of crime derived from service providers who were supposed to be rendering services for the water and sanitation unit and claimed to have provided such services whilst they were not carried out.
Misrepresentations were allegedly made to the municipality and in some instances no authorized signatures as per requirement for approval were endorsed on the invoices.
Despite the alleged falsification of documents, payments were approved and significant amounts of monies were allegedly channelled to officials for their own benefit.
During the operation which also comprised the Hawks Digital Forensic Laboratory, Priority Crime Specialised Investigation, SAPS Crime Scene Management and the National Intervention Unit, various items including a number of laptops, desktops, hard drives, cellphones, bank cards from different banks, company details, invoices and company registration documents were seized for analysis.
No arrests have been made as yet as investigations are still continuing.

Source: South African Police Service

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