Hawks arrest members of 10111 call centre

The Hawks have arrested seven members of the 10111 call centre in Hilton along with the head of a prominent private Midlands-based paramedic service on Thursday.

The seven were arrested for tipping off certain ambulance services and tow truck drivers of incidents in exchange for hundreds of thousands of rands.

READ: Zandile Gumede responds to Hawks’ raid

The head of the paramedic service could face more than 150 counts of fraud.

The Hawks later arrested one local tow truck operator and a KwaZulu-Natal EMRS paramedic.

This is reportedly part of an intensive two-year Hawks investigation.

The Witness reported that Hawks investigators had got permission to tap the personal mobile phones of implicated 10111 operators.

The investigators then discovered e-wallet payments allegedly made as kickbacks to the 10111 operators.

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Each payment will count as one count of fraud, sources said.

“It is actually illegal for the 10111 officials to have cell phones in the control room,” a source said.

“They need to hand their cell phones in at the beginning of their shift,” the source said,

“The officials would receive a call from the public for an incident. Instead of following procedure and phoning the public emergency response, they would phone [those they were in cahoots with] from their private cell phones and only give information out on air to police afterwards.”

The suspects are expected to appear in court on Friday.