Alleged ‘loan sharks’ found with Sassa cards at ATM on payout day

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Five people have been found with 78 Sassa cards and bags of money withdrawn from ATM in Somerset West. (Gordon’s Bay Security)
Five people have been found with 78 Sassa cards and bags of money withdrawn from ATM in Somerset West. (Gordon’s Bay Security)

Cape Town - A group of apparent money lenders was found with Sassa social grant cards and a substantial amount of money in Somerset West, Western Cape police confirmed on Friday.

Security guards spotted them at an ATM in Main Road at 06:00 on Thursday and called for police back-up, said Captain FC van Wyk.

Social grants were typically loaded onto the South African Social Security Agency cards on the first day of every month.

The group was found with 78 Sassa cards and bags of money which was already withdrawn from the cash machine, according to Gordon's Bay Security on Facebook.

They also had the personal information of various individuals, said Van Wyk.

The four men, aged 28 to 41, and a woman, 33, were taken to a police station for questioning before being arrested.

Van Wyk said they faced two charges.

The first was in terms of the Social Assistance Act, which stated that a beneficiary had to receive their full grant before any other person could enforce a claim.

"In this case, it is believed from the information at hand that the suspects take their claim (money owed) before (if at all), only providing what is left to Sassa beneficiaries."

The second charge related to unlawful provisions in credit agreements, as per the National Credit Act.

For example, a credit agreement was unlawful if consumers had to leave the credit provider with an identity document, credit or debit card, bank card or similar documents or devices, as well as provide a personal PIN code.

The group will appear in court soon.

Anyone with information on the case could contact Detective Warrant Officer James Robertson on 021 850 1302 or 079 125 4357.

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