Asset Forfeiture Unit ready to act on PG Bison ‘fraudsters’

2011-03-18 00:00

THE Asset Forfeiture Unit (AFU) yesterday moved to seize three houses in Chase Valley, Allandale and Northdale in Pietermaritzburg, as well as vehicles and household effects belonging to three men allegedly involved in defrauding PG Bison of R3,8 million.

The AFU obtained a court order for the restraint of the property concerned pending the finalisation of criminal charges facing the trio — Keshnand Maharaj, Kevin Naidoo and Joshua Iasiah.

Should they be convicted, the AFU will apply to confiscate the property as proceeds of crime.

According to an affidavit by Warrant Officer Jason Reddy, who is investigating the alleged fraud and theft charges, Maharaj and Naidoo were arrested in connection with the case on October 1,2009, and Iasiah on February 4 last year.

All three have appeared in the Commercial Crime Court in Durban where Maharaj and Naidoo were each granted bail of R10 000 and Iasiah R5 000.

The case was adjourned to April 5 this year.

At the time of the alleged fraud, Maharaj was employed by PG Bison as a stores controller and buyer, while Naidoo is the proprietor of Tool and Engineering Supplies, which was a supplier of PG Bison.

Iasiah was a receiving clerk employed by PG Bison.

It is alleged that the trio colluded with two others who have since turned state witness — Athisasen Govender and Sandrasan Reddy — to commit procurement offences.

It is also alleged that the accused and the witnesses colluded to defraud PG Bison by manipulating the buying procedures, which saw cardboard purchased from approved service providers (Nampak and Corruseal) diverted to the entities of Govender (Plasmo Plastics) and Naidoo (Tool and Engineering Supplies), at a far higher price than they were available from Nampak and Corruseal.

It is further alleged that Maharaj colluded with Reddy to circumvent the procurement procedures at PG Bison in order to conceal the non-delivery or short delivery of goods “by generating a purchase order after delivery instead of before delivery”.

Another allegation is that Maharaj and Naidoo were also responsible for a scam where invoices were “signed for” as having been received by PG Bison when none were delivered.

The properties restrained in terms of the court order obtained by the AFU are all situated in the Pietermaritzburg area.

Properties include a R1,2 million house in Silver­dale crescent, Chase Valley, owned by Maharaj and his wife, as well as a BMW three series worth R50 000; a R900 000 home belonging to Naidoo and his wife in Redruth Road, Allandale, as well as a BMW three series valued at R60 000; and Iasiah’s house in Bombay Road, Northdale, which is valued at R400 000.

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