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Office of the South African Police Service

The South African Police Service is the principal Law Enforcement Agency in South Africa, and is committed to the creation of a safe and secure environment for all the citizens of our country.

The mission of the South African Police Service is to:

·         Prevent anything that may threaten the safety and security of any community;
·         Investigate all crime that may threaten the safety and security of any community;
·         Ensure that criminals are brought to justice; and
·         Participate in efforts to address the causes of crime.

The South African Police Service has forged close co-operation and enjoy good relations with other police agencies across the world. We have established, and maintain effective communication channels due to our dedicated, foreign liaison-officer-network.

Further information on the South African Police Service is also available on the following website: www.saps.gov.za

FRAUD ALERT!!

It has come to the attention of the South African Police Service that unsolicited letters, faxes and e-mails are being sent all over the world by fraudsters, purporting to be senior government officials from South Africa or officials within our central banking institution, the South African Reserve Bank. In such unsolicited correspondence most commonly sent out, the fraudster will claim to have over inflated government contracts, thus generating a personal profit. The recipient of the unsolicited correspondence is offered a reward of between 10 to 30% in return for help in smuggling the money out of the country.

These types of letters are an "Advance Fee Fraud", or what is more commonly known as "419-Letter-scams". They are most definitely not distributed by South African government officials or officials from the South African Reserve Bank. It is, however, a fact that, in many instances, the fraudsters are not even operating from within South Africa, but are distributing the correspondence from other countries. They have absolutely nothing to do with South Africa, and have merely engaged in a process of identity hi-jacking.

Although "419-Letter-scams" can take on many forms, certain common "characteristics" do exist that should alert the recipient:

·         There is a sense of urgency to the matter;
·         Total confidentiality is an absolute requirement;
·         The unsolicited letters/faxes/e-mails reaches the recipient unexpectedly;
·         A large sum of money is involved;
·         The letters are very convincing;
·         The names of official government departments and banks are abused.

You are advised not to respond to these unsolicited letters, faxes and e-mails, unless you have made one hundred percent sure that it is a legitimate, bona-fide business proposition from an authentic organization or institution.

Do not underestimate the fraudsters - they can be very convincing and specifically target the most common human weakness, namely GREED! Most recipients are skeptical and immediately realize that the correspondence is a fraud. It is, however, a reality that hundreds of people have lost large sums of money after being lured into these scams. Other individuals, who have responded simply out of curiosity, have had their names and company letterheads abused in other fraudulent scams.

Advance Fee Fraud affects many countries, and there is close co-operation between foreign police agencies at an international level, to combat this crime.

The following advice if offered to UK residents:

If you have received unsolicited correspondence that you find suspicious, kindly report it to your local police station or Fraud Squad for investigation.

Due to the volume of the "419-Letter-scam" this office receives on a daily basis; if you are a victim and have actually lost money, please contact South African Police Service at 419scam@saps.org.za. The Directorate of Priority Crimes Investigations (HAWKS) has a dedicated team that investigates victims of 419 scams, especially those who have incurred a loss. All scam letters without loss are being fed into a database and the letters, names, and contact details are analyzed to check for similarity in order to determine the origin of the scam letters and who is behind them.

If you have incurred a loss you must also report this to the nearest police station from where the money was transferred and the police will liaise with this office if the need arises via mutual legal assistance. You must submit an affidavit together with all communications that took place between yourself and the fraudsters to the police before they can commence their investigation.

The UK website for fraud awareness is www.met.police.uk/fraudalert

Contact them at fraud.alert@met.police.uk

Please do not contact the South African High Commission directly regarding this type of fraud. This office only facilitates investigations between the host country and South Africa and not from individual complainants.

Police Clearance Certificate

South African Police Clearance certificates are obtainable from the Criminal Records Centre in Pretoria South Africa; Contact crc-nameclear@saps.gov.za / 002712-3933903

 For information on obtaining a Police Clearance Certificate contact the South African High Commission on: 020 7451 7168

STAFF COMPLIMENT

Counsellor (SAPS

Colonel T Naicker

Tel No: +44 (0) 20 7451 7176