Man held in R4 mln fraud case

2012-04-17 00:00

A 35-YEAR-OLD man was arrested yesterday in connection with cheque fraud involving millions of rands at the Ulundi District Municipality earlier this year.

Six cheques amounting to nearly R4 million were stolen from the municipality’s offices in January.

An Absa bank teller has been arrested and appeared in court in connection with the matter. She allegedly cashed a stolen cheque worth R690 000.

The man was arrested by the Durban commercial crime unit during an early morning operation in a hotel apartment in KwaMbonambi, Richards Bay. He is expected to appear in court on several charges of fraud.

The man is alleged to be the mastermind.

He allegedly fraudulently registered a company with a similar name to a company contracted to the Ulundi District Municipality.

The legitimate company was due to receive payments from the municipality at the time of the theft.

The suspect allegedly posed as a representative of the legitimate company and collected the six cheques.

He then spent the money buying expensive furniture, clothing and entertaining different women in luxury hotels in the country.

Police said they had applied for a court order to freeze the remaining R1 million and engaged the Asset Forfeiture Unit to seize the assets.

They said more suspects would be arrested.

Zululand District Municpality (ZDM) Mayor Zanele KaMgwaza Msibi said: “As ZDM we welcome the arrest of people involved in the theft of ZDM’s funds.

“After discovering the theft of ZDM cheques in January this year, I ordered an investigation and requested that the matter be handed over to the Hawks”.

She said the municipality wanted all money stolen from the its coffers to be returned.

The KwaZulu-Natal provincial commissioner, Lieutenant-General Mmamonnye Ngobeni, said: “We will make sure that anyone, both within the municipality and in different banks, who assisted this kingpin to commit this fraud is similarly arrested and prosecuted.”

— Witness Reporter.

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