Four people have been arrested for allegedly colluding to defraud the Department of Works and Infrastructure of more than R2.8 million.
Kaizer Kganyago, spokesman for the Special Investigating Unit (SIU ), said the four suspects appeared before the Pretoria Economic Crimes Court on Tuesday on charges of fraud. They were released on bail of R2,000 each and the matter was postponed to June 17 for further investigation.
Further arrests, including the Masterminds are expected, he said.
Kganyago said an investigation by the SIU and public works revealed that supply chain management officials allegedly worked with companies, friends and family members to to defraud the department through cover quotes.
The issue was reported by the department in 2015 after allegations about the procurement of goods and services at the Pretoria and Durban regional offices.
“The allegations focused on the day-to-day maintenance contracts the department had awarded to service providers and possible offers of coverage.”
< p>The investigation of the SIU, Kganyago said there was a trend that certain contractors received more contracts than others.
“This differential contracting was underpinned by a practice which indicated that companies appeared to be associated with certain individuals/companies to quote in consultation with each other.
“Inviting suppliers into the supplier database seems to have created an environment where it is populated with entities all linked to a single person who is the ultimate beneficiary of procurement.”
Analysis of the department’s data revealed that 11 companies associated with an individual submitted bids to the department, thereby falsely suggesting to the department that they would seeking independent bids.
“These actions led the department to beli. Even the markets dictated the prices to be paid, when in reality the prices were determined by the alleged collusion of the 11 companies.”
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