Warrant issued for alleged holiday scammer

Henry

The police have issued an arrest warrant for Francois Swart, the managing director of the travel agency Priority Escapes.

Swart allegedly swindled several would-be holidaymakers out of hundreds of thousands of rands.

AfriForum’s private prosecution unit represents two complainants who filed a criminal complaint against Swart at the Modimolle police station in August.

The couple approached the unit when they did not get the investigating officer’s details and were not approached by the investigating officer about this matter either. The unit wrote to the station commander expressing concern that a simple case of fraud had apparently been referred to the priority crime investigation directorate (the Hawks) for investigation.

According to adv. Gerrie Nel, head of AfriForum’s private prosecution unit, this case is simple. “The complainants transferred the total amount to the suspect to arrange their holiday and he sent them documents to confirm that the necessary flight and accommodation arrangements had been made. However, these documents were forged. The unit’s customers were allegedly defrauded out of more than R130 000,” says Nel.

The South African Police Service (SAPS) confirmed on 7 December that a J50 arrest warrant had indeed been issued for Swart.

“It is further understood that the complainants’ case is indeed investigated at station level – where it should be investigated – and not by the Falcons. We hope that this matter will now receive the attention it deserves. It is important that the public must demand that complaints be resolved quickly so that the principle of ‘justice delayed is justice denied’ can be re-established in the Criminal Justice System.”

Any person with information about Swart’s activities is encouraged to communicate details to the police or report them to the unit at onsvervolg@afriforum.co.za.