Picture: Fabricasimf

A total of six suspected Mashonisa’s (loadn sharks) between the ages of 23 and 52, appeared before the Nelspruit Magistrate Court on Wednesday, 22 May.

This is after they were arrested on 21 May 2024 by the Hawks Nelspruit based Serious C commercial Crime Investigation team together with members from National Credit Regulation (NCR) and South African Social Security (SASSA) on charges of contravening the National Credit Act.

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The suspects were arrested during a search and seizure operation authorised and executed following information regarding the suspects who are operating illegal cash loan business which are not registered with the National Credit Regulator. When the team executed the search warrant at the premises, bank cards, South African Social Security Agency (SASSA) grant cards, and identity documents of clients were found and seized.

During preliminary investigation, it was established that the suspects were retaining clients’ bank cards to secure payments on their cash loans. These cards were illegally kept in order to ensure that clients pay back their dues monthly with inflated interests.

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The Provincial Head of the Hawks Major General Gerber applauded the Multidisciplinary team which is busy with the ongoing operation. He further advice consumers to stop doing business with unregistered operators. He cautioned the public to stay away from loan sharks or mashonisas as they are known, saying that they are ruthlessly preying on financially struggling South Africans.

Investigation continues.

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