Six held in state corruption sting

Mfundekelwa Mkhulisi

Mfundekelwa Mkhulisi

The Agriculture Department, with the help of the Scorpions, has uncovered a syndicate which has been defrauding the department's suppliers for years. Six people have been arrested and more arrests are expected.

Steve Galane, the department's director of communications, said the syndicate has been operating in various parts of the country.

Galane said: "They used fraudulently generated supply orders by using the department's name."

He said the syndicate asked the suppliers to send it quotations for delivering computers and laptops.

Having secured the quotations, the suppliers were sent a fraudulent order for the delivery.

They would then call the department's regional offices pretending to be officials from the head office and instruct them to accept the goods.

The syndicate would arrange for a courier service to pick up the goods and the supplier would be under the impression that the items had been delivered to the department.

Fraudulent cheques were also paid into the accounts of the suppliers, which were then informed on a fraudulent department letterhead that the payment made into their bank account was meant for another supplier or institution, and an electronic transfer had to be made.

The Scorpions were continuing their investigations.