AFU: Funds released for corruption accused

2012-10-09 00:00

THE Asset Forfeiture Unit (AFU) has agreed to release R20 675 per month to multimillion-rand Durban fraud and corruption accused Rajkapoor Lakraj for living expenses, as well as R1 102 019 from his restrained assets for his legal expenses.

The money will be paid from an account in the name of Dream Team Trading, according to a consent order granted yesterday by Pietermaritzburg high court Judge Rashid Vahed.

The AFU will also release three vehicles to Lakraj, which are currently under restraint pending the finalisation of criminal charges he faces.

They are a Mercedes-Benz, a Volkswagen Amarok and a Toyota Dyna truck.

Lakraj, a building contractor, has appeared in the Durban Commercial Crime Court charged with 148 counts of fraud and corruption.

Some of the charges arise from allegations that he used his domestic worker, Nomfanelo Beauty Maqephula, and her daughter, Hlengiwe Maqephula, as fronts to obtain contracts from the KwaZulu-Natal Public Works Department.

His two companies — Quantum Leap Investments 24 (Pty) Ltd and Dream Team Trading 562 CC — were alleged to have obtained about 3 000 contracts, reportedly worth some R87 million, from the Public Works Department over a number of years.

On March 2, the high court authorised the AFU to seize and preserve Lakraj’s assets, including more than R35 million cash. The properties and vehicles are said to have pushed the total under preservation to an estimated R68 million.

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