A 51-year-old attorney allegedly committed suicide on Saturday following a Hawks search and seizure operation at his illegal loan outlets in Lindley, in the Free State, on Friday.
Hawks spokesperson W/O Lynda Steyn said the serious commercial crime investigation team, in collaboration with the National Credit Regulator, acted on information about an alleged errant loan shark and conducted a joint search and seizure at four of his outlets in Lindley.
“The alleged outlets were operating in contravention of the National Credit Act by withholding identity documents, bank cards and PINs from their clients and charging exorbitant interest on the loans,” said Steyn.
She said the team seized 66 South African Social Security Agency (Sassa) cards and 17 bank cards from various banking institutions, all belonging to the loan sharks’ clients.
“The case against the 51-year-old attorney, the owner of the cash loan outlet, was opened and the docket referred to the director of public prosecution for a prosecutorial decision.
“It is, however, believed that on March 21 the suspect committed suicide.”