No bail for man accused of R1.6m fraud

2015-03-17 21:02

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Cape Town - A man who while out on bail on fraud charges allegedly duped people into advancing money to him, was refused bail by the Goodwood District Court in Cape Town on Tuesday.

Abri Gert Kruger, 35, of no fixed abode, is charged with fraud involving R1.6m, forgery, and uttering (presentation) of forged documents.

He allegedly duped his victims by claiming he was waiting for a large sum to be transferred to him from the HSBC bank in the UK.

He appeared before Magistrate Sean Lea who said the fact that he allegedly duped five victims into giving him money, whilst he was out on R10 000 bail in another fraud case, presented a risk that he would do it again.

His release on bail was therefore not in the interests of justice, Lea ruled.

Prosecutor Thersia du Toit told the court the fact that he allegedly committed fraud on such a large scale and whilst out on bail in another fraud case, meant that, if found guilty, he faced a minimum sentence of 15 years.

She said there were five different police dockets involving Kruger and she would centralise them into one case.

The current frauds happened between October 2010 and February 2015, she said.

Questioned by defence attorney Coen van Graan, Kruger declared solemnly that he would not abscond if released on bail and that he would stay with his parents in Rustenburg.

Asked if he would abscond, he replied: "Not at all, not at all."

He claimed to be a qualified medical doctor, and that he had graduated at a university in Manchester, in the UK, after a five-year period of study.

He said he had registered as a medical practitioner with and had been admitted to practice by a UK medical board.

Asked by Lea what the board's name was, he replied: "I do not know."

Kruger did not answer when Lea asked: "You were admitted to practice by the UK medical board, but you don't know the proper name of the authority?"

Asked by his lawyer if he would contact or try to influence any State witnesses, he replied: "Under no circumstances."

He said he would plead not guilty at his trial, and added: "I do not think the State has a case against me, and I believe I will be found not guilty."

Asked by Du Toit about the money he claimed to have in the HSBC bank, he replied: "I will not reply to any questions relating to this, until I have given my attorney full instructions."

The investigating officer, Warrant Officer Johannes van Zyl, alleged that Kruger was not a medical doctor, but used the title to gain the trust of his alleged victims.

Van Zyl said he regarded the case as a priority for investigation.

"When I started this investigation, the accused reported me to senior police officers in an attempt to thwart progress in the matter.

"My concern is that there is nothing so stop him from making life difficult for me again if released on bail," he said.

Any other victims could contact Van Zyl on 021-597-1760.

Kruger would be back in court on 4 May.

Read more on:    cape town  |  crime

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