Two people have been arrested in the Eastern Cape after a coordinated police operation found them to be involved in a bogus medical scheme in which one of the suspects had been posing as a doctor and distributing medicine to unwitting patients. 

The arrests were made on Thursday 21 January, and medication estimated at R700 000 was discovered in the surgery where the bogus doctors had been conducting their business. 

Bogus doctors arrested

South African Police Service (SAPS) spokesperson Brigadier Tembinkosi Kinana said in a statement that police had received a tip-off from Crime Intelligence in September 2020 that that one of the suspects was practicing without a licence and operating as a medical doctor in Molteno in the Chris Hand District, and they reported that the woman was not registered with the Health Professional Council of South Africa, but nonetheless was dispensing medication to patients. 

Reports suggest that the bogus doctor started practicing since 2018.

“In order to verify the authenticity of these allegations, the investigators contacted the Health Professional Council of South Africa which provided an affidavit in support of the allegations against the bogus doctor,” said Kinana .

“Subsequently, an operation dubbed ‘Operation Corona’ was conducted by the integration of role-players which included the South African Health Products Regulatory Authority Unit. Consequently, the two suspects were found doing business in their surgery and were immediately arrested by the police.”

He said that one of the two suspects – the assistant – is believed to be a boy-friend to the bogus doctor.

SAPS lament ‘unending fraud and corruption’ in SA 

Kinana said the after the arrests were made the surgery where they were working from was raided, as well as the homes of the suspects. 

“On the second day after the surveillance of the surgery the previous day, intensive search was conducted in the surgery and the house of the bogus doctor. A lot of medication estimated at R700 000, used and unused needles for injection were confiscated,” he said. 

Acting Provincial Commissioner, Major General Thembisile Patekile hailed the success of the operation and expressed concern about the “unending degree of fraud and corruption” in South Africa. 

“As management of the SAPS in the Province, we are on record as having warned people against fraudulent activities on many occasions. Those who are adamant and believe these are only idle threats, must suffer the consequences of their actions,” said Patekile.

The bogus doctor and her assistant will be charged for fraud and Contravention of Medicine Act, and are expected in the Queenstown Magistrate Court on Friday 22 January. Protection Status