Fake robbery insurance scam: 4 arrested

2013-12-20 00:00

FOUR Pietermaritzburg businessmen were arrested in a dramatic raid in Raisethorpe yesterday — for allegedly robbing themselves in an elaborate insurance scam.

On Wednesday, the men — all Pakistani nationals — opened a case of armed robbery with police, alleging that their hair-salon business in Old Greytown Road was robbed of more than R700 000 in cash and stock earlier in the day.

However, The Witness understands that a task team led by Pietermaritzburg’s Crime Intelligence Unit were watching the business following a tip-off, and saw no such robbery. Instead, a police source — who could not be named — said they witnessed the goods simply being moved to another premises owned by the men. The men face charges of defeating the ends of justice for allegedly filing a fake armed robbery charge.

The suspects — who have been living in South Africa for the past seven years — have also been charged with theft, after Department of Home Affairs stamps and documents were found at a Vanker Road, Raisethorpe, home.

Alleging that an insurance motive was being investigated, the officer said, “No such armed robbery occurred at their premises. What we did see, in fact, was several men transporting goods, furniture, boxes and stock out of the business premises during the course of Wednesday. We then raided that house yesterday where we found most of the items that were apparently stolen.”

Mountain Rise SAPS joined in the raid.

The officer said the raid had triggered “concerns” over the recovery of the Department of Home Affairs stamps.

“This gives rise to serious questions as to what it was being used for … and how many people have been either married illegally or [come into] this country illegally. It has opened a whole new investigation now.”

Spokespeople for the SAPS did not respond to questions on the arrests.

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