What started out as an investigation into the printing of illegal abortion ads has instead led the Metro Police Tactical Reponse Unit to uncover a massive forgery ring in the city.
The ring was bust in Bellville’s central business district on Thursday.
Various counterfeit goods were discovered at the premises – including university and college degrees from the University of the Western Cape.
Mayoral committee member for safety and security JP Smith said they received a tip-off from the local ward councillor and the Voortrekker Road Central Improvement District (VRCID).
He said the councillor and the VRCID had been trying to track down the source of stickers advertising illegal abortions.
Smith said abortion stickers in the area had become a scourge.
However, a search of the premises revealed a number of industrial printers, scanners, laptops and other digital equipment which led to the discovery.
“Officers also found fake currency [notes] from a number of countries, fake passports, identity documents, asylum permits, fake licence documents, vehicle registration discs, and university and college degrees – notably from the University of the Western Cape”.
Three suspects including a woman were arrested on charges of fraud, forgery and uttering, and possession of suspected stolen property.
Smith could not say if the three were responsible for performing any illegal abortions or even if they were assisting with the printing.
“When a person knowingly publishes or puts into circulation any forged or altered financial document, legal document or other text with the intent to misrepresent it as true and defraud others, it amounts to uttering a forged instrument.”
He also said one should not put their health in danger by following illegal abortion stickers.
The unit would be working closely with the SA Police Service, said Smith. News24