JOHANNESBURG – The Hawks in the Free State have arrested seven suspects for the illicit sale of electricity.
The suspects, agreed between 28 and 67, were handcuffed on Wednesday in Gauteng after a joint operation between Eskom investigators and law enforcement authorities.
The team tracked down the criminal network responsible for large-scale fraud and theft of prepaid electricity in various locations across the Free State.
It is understood that unions operated in groups nationally and generated revenues of around R150,000 to R250,000 per day from illicit electricity sales, resulting in losses of several million rand for Eskom per year.
Hawk’s Philani Nkwalase said prepaid electricity vouchers, seven luxury cars and around R700,000 in cash were seized during the arrest.
“This project-driven investigation took place in May 2020 in Bloemfontein, investigating the illicit sale of electricity facilitated by illegal sellers who have in their possession illegal electricity vending machines, also known as phantom selling. During his arrest, one of the suspects allegedly lured the police who arrested them with the bonus of R100,000 and was additionally accused of corruption”.
#sapsFS Seven suspects were arrested at dawn by a multidisciplinary team that stormed several facilities in Gauteng. The joint team tracked down and disrupted the criminal network responsible for large-scale theft and fraud of prepaid electricity. TMhttps://t.co/jtDyGSRPeI pic.twitter.com/0oiUzZfS55
SA Police Service (@SAPoliceService) June 10, 2021