Foreign nationals contribute significantly to high crime rates, said National Police Commissioner Riah Phiyega, pictured, on Tuesday.
Presenting crime statistics to Parliament’s portfolio committee on police, she said nearly 500 foreign nationals were arrested by the Directorate for Priority Crime Investigation for serious commercial crimes.
During the joint national Operation Fiela, which came under fire for allegedly targeting foreigners, and similar other operations, 90 wanted suspects who are foreigners were arrested. Some 700 suspects, also foreigners, with prior convictions were awaiting trial.
Phiyega said that previously foreign nationals would simply be deported but were now being dealt with and held accountable in South Africa.
She said more than R10.8 billion was transferred out of South Africa illegally while almost R2.2 billion came into the country illegally.
Phiyega added that a money transfer system, Hawala, was used by many foreign nationals such as Pakistanis and Somalis and that stronger controls in this regard were needed.