The Special Investigating Unit (SIU) has found that the identity numbers of deceased persons are being used to fraudulently facilitate the renewal of vehicle licences for truck owners whose accounts with the licensing department have been suspended.
SIU spokesperson Kaizer Kganyago on June 9 said the SIU had uncovered this scheme during an analysis of the National Administration Traffic Information System (NaTIS).
He explained that truck owners whose accounts with the licensing department have been suspended owing to the nonpayment of traffic fines, were colluding with employees of the licensing department to move the unpaid fines to the identities of deceased persons.
The truck owner would then be able to renew their licences without paying the outstanding fines.
Kganyago pointed out that the identity numbers of about 40 000 deceased persons had been used in this way and that the Department of Transport has lost millions of rands in revenue as a result.
“When people die, their driver’s licence account is not removed from the NaTIS [and] that has given schemers from within the department and outside access to commit the fraud,” he noted.
Kganyago said some of the perpetrators have been traced and debt acknowledgement forms have been signed.
"So far, we have signed acknowledgement of debt forms to the value of R9.9-million that has to be paid back to the department. This is a fraudulent act but we are taking steps to discontinue this behaviour.
“This includes referral to criminal prosecution and disciplinary for the runners in the traffic department who are assisting in the crime,” he added.
The SIU is also working with the Department of Home Affairs to ensure that the licence accounts of deceased persons are cancelled on the NaTIS.