Foreign nationals contribute to high crime rates – Phiyega

Police commissioner Riah Phiyega. Picture: Refilwe Modise

Police commissioner Riah Phiyega. Picture: Refilwe Modise

Presenting crime statistics to parliament’s portfolio committee on police she said nearly 500 foreign nationals were arrested by the Directorate for Priority Crime Investigation (DPCI) for serious commercial crimes.

During the joint national Operation Fiela, which came under fire for allegedly targeting foreigners, and similar other operations, 90 wanted suspects who are foreigners were arrested.

700 suspects, also foreigners, with prior convictions were awaiting trial.

Phiyega said that previously, foreign nationals would simply be deported but were now being dealt with and held accountable in South Africa.

She said more than R10.8 billion was transferred out of South Africa illegally while almost R2.2 billion came into the country illegally.

Phiyega added that a money transfer system, Hawala, was utilised by many foreign nationals such as Pakistanis and Somalians and that stronger controls in this regard were needed.


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