The Gauteng Department of Roads and Transport conducted a Search and Seizure Operation at the Rand West City municipal vehicle registration centre in Westonaria on Wednesday, 25 October that resulted in a temporary suspension of services.
The search and seizure operations were conducted at the licensing centre itself and at several private premises. The operation saw the police and the National Anti-Corruption Unit of the Road Transport Management Corporation (RTMC) join forces.
Ismail Vadi, Gauteng MEC for Roads and Transport said, “They, together with members of the Insurance Crime Bureau combined their capabilities to uncover fraudulent transactions in the vehicle registration processes in Westonaria.”
He added that due to the investigations, the centre will remain closed to the public until further notice.
“All attempts are being made by the government to address the scourge of corruption within the vehicle registration system. The public is heavily dependent on the integrity of the system to protect them from being targets of vehicle-related crime and from unknowingly purchasing vehicles that originate from various crimes,” Vadi said.
He went on to say the provincial Roads and Transport Department was made aware of erroneous transactions performed at the Westonaria Registration Authority which prompted the investigation.
“Consequently, audits were conducted and system users were identified who are suspected of being involved in the cloning of vehicle registrations, wherein stolen vehicles are re-registered on the records of similar, non-stolen vehicles,” he explained.
According to Vadi, the illegal transactions are linked to vehicles stolen and then re-registered on export records on the national transport information system.
Vadi concluded that the operation is part of an ongoing investigation into irregularities in Westonaria and at several other licensing centres in the province.
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