By Staff Reporter
QWAQWA – Four suspects appeared before the Botshabelo Magistrate’s Court on Monday, 20 March 2023 on charges of illegal adoption and fraud.
This after a preliminary investigation was conducted by the Hawks, and discovered that there is an official from Department of Health who allegedly recruits foreign nationals to illegally adopt children.
According Hawks spokesperson Christopher Singo, the recruited woman would identify children and negotiate with their parents to give consent in exchange for a monetary reward when they agreed.
“She would take the children to a Home Affairs official who would then register them. The children would later be registered for SASSA grants and they (suspects) would share the money.”
He said two of the four suspects aged 35 and 51, respectively, were arrested by the Botshabelo local police for illegal adoption and fraud.
“It is alleged that two females, a Lesotho national and a South African went to Botshabelo Home Affairs for late registration applications for two children, aged five and 15. An official from Home Affairs who was assisting them became suspicious and immediately notified the police.”
He said the matter was referred to the Hawks’ Serious Organized Crime Investigation office in Bloemfontein for further investigation. Two other suspects aged 29 and 59, believed to be the parents of the children in question were also arrested on Saturday, 18 March 2023.
The Hawks are expecting to make more arrests.