COPS FAIL TO BUST SHOPS

BMA Internet cafe exposed by Sowetan for producing fraudulent documents is still  operational in Yeoville. Pic: BAFANA MAHLANGU. 06/07/2009. © Sowetan.
BMA Internet cafe exposed by Sowetan for producing fraudulent documents is still operational in Yeoville. Pic: BAFANA MAHLANGU. 06/07/2009. © Sowetan.

It was business as usual yesterday at the Copy & Print and Rocky Print - both in Rockey Street, Yeoville - days after Sowetan exposed them for selling fake payslips and financial documents.

It was business as usual yesterday at the Copy & Print and Rocky Print - both in Rockey Street, Yeoville - days after Sowetan exposed them for selling fake payslips and financial documents.

Despite being informed two days ahead of our exposé on Friday, police have not acted on information that the two internet cafés produce fraudulent financial documents.

On Friday we published a story exposing how easy it was to buy fake payslips and bank statements from the two internet cafés for R450 a set. We then used the documents to open a credit account and bought electronic appliances worth more than R23000.

Our investigation revealed that R150 can buy you a payslip, and R300 will score you a bank statement. Foreigners can buy asylum papers for a mere R150.

The provincial police's Director Govindsamy Mariemuthoo was told on Tuesday about our story. He advised us to contact an Inspector Govender who would assist with busting the cafés.

On Thursday morning the police were informed that the story would be run on Friday. When the raid was supposed to be conducted on the internet cafés that evening, the police pulled out of the operation, saying that computer specialists would be needed to ensure that data was safeguarded.

Several attempts to contact these specialists failed that evening and the operation was put on hold for the next day.

The story was published on Friday but there was no action from the police, though they had the contact details of two people who could have told them where to find the shop owners.

These sources have since gone into hiding as they have been receiving threats from the business owners. One of our sources said that when he asked Govender why they had not raided the shops on Friday, he said he was told that he (Govender) had to go to court.

The officer, who was working on the case with Sowetan, yesterday said that the case had been referred to an Inspector Brink of the cyber crime unit.

When contacted yesterday national police spokesperson Director Phuti Setati said he had not yet seen Sowetan's article. He said he would take the issue up with Mariemuthoo to find out what went wrong.

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