A sneak peek at some of the actions that will take place on SABC3’s Special Assignment on Sunday, June 05. Be sure to tune in to Special Assignment every Sunday to see how everything plays out.
So, what will happen this week on “Special Assignment:”?
This week’s Special Assignment by Producer Lee McCabe, looks at scam syndicates that approach unsuspecting people on the supplier databases of various government departments and pretends to be the respective government departments.
The scammers then instruct these suppliers to send three quotes for jobs under a million rand to the ‘department.’ The unsuspecting supplier concedes, the quotes are accepted and the ‘department’ directs the suppliers to procure their materials from bogus companies who require an upfront payment of a minimum of 50% and in some cases, 100%.
Special Assignment tries to track down the syndicate supposedly run from Tshwane, by a woman who was a former senior manager at the Department of Energy.
We talk to some of the victims and record a telephone call with an operator at the ‘call centre’ which describes the process that victims have fallen for and complied with. It is hard to pin anything on the alleged mastermind of the scam and even harder to track her down.
The Hawks say there are many such syndicates posing as different government departments, operating in the same manner, pretending to represent Eskom, the Department of Labour and others. They similarly request quotes from people on the department’s supplier database and seem to be very familiar with the tendering process.
The Hawks currently have over 140 dockets open relating to such crimes and state that they made a total of 14 arrests last year of members of a syndicate operating from Sandton in Johannesburg. They claim they are confident that they are winning the war against these syndicates; while government institutions such as Eskom say that they are aware of the increasing number of scams operating under their name. Eskom and other government organisations and parastatals say they cannot be held accountable of what has happened to the victims of these scams.
Watch Tender Sharks produced by Lee McCabe for Special Assignment. Broadcast Sundays on SABC 3 at 20h30.