Telesure extortion accused claims company tried to poison him

2015-06-18 16:00

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Johannesburg - A computer systems analyst alleged to have been part of a scheme to extort $1m (R12.2m) from Telesure Investment Holdings in exchange for data taken from the company has told News24 he believes Telesure may have tried to kill him with poison.

But the company has rejected his claim as "bizarre".

The claim was made in a message sent to News24 by Dalton Lentswe Mononyane.

"Last year in October during this fiasco I spent 3 weeks in Milpark hospital due to some poisoning. I suspect Telesure hired some ppl (sic) to poison me,"said the message.

But Telesure Investment Holdings CEO Tom Creamer denied this.

"We outright deny this unfounded and completely bizarre allegation," Creamer told News24.

Intends to plead not guilty

Mononyane and Ghanaian national, Henry Kofi Panti, appeared before the Johannesburg Specialised Commercial Crimes Court on Wednesday where they both attempted to secure bail. 

Mononyane did not reveal much during his bail application, except that he intends to plead not guilty to the extortion case against him. 

He told News24 that in 2014, he worked for a company called LRMG and they were contracted by Telesure to investigate issues surrounding their payroll data not synchronising with the systems. 

"I was given authority & access to work on their four servers linked to the... system but we as LRMG NEVER had access to their payroll servers," Mononyane said in a Facebook message. 

"During my investigations I stumbled across some comprehensive payroll data... By virtue of me opening this binary file, it was unknowingly auto saved on my laptop."

Mononyane said his employer and Telesure criticised him for having the information. 

"This was last yr [sic] in November. I subsequently resigned in December and left the issue behind and carried on with my life," he said. 

This year on May 10, he was arrested by the Hawks at around 03:00 at his home where he had been sleeping with his wife and five children.

"The following day I get to meet the Henry Panto guy at court whom it was the first time I met in my life," said Mononyane. 

'Dealing with ghosts'

He said there may be people trying to extort cash from Telesure, but he was not part of it. 

"My version is that there's someone out there who knows abt (sic) this sensitive data and is trying to take advantage and extort money out of Telesure but I doubt that they have this data as from what I heard from the investigating officer, Telesure were willing to pay $2 million to [them]. Hence no data no $2 million. By virtue of me having knowledge of this data I am being arrested," Mononyane said. 

"From what I heard from Panti he knows nothing about this and has been dealing with ghosts. I mean if u r fully aware that u r committing crime can u really provide ur legit private banking details for proceeds to be deposited into it? [sic] "

Last week, Panti submitted an affidavit where he told the court that a man by the name of Odure and his wife Sibulele asked him to receive money on their behalf into his bank account. 

He claimed the couple informed him that the money was being transferred from overseas and the deal was above board. 

He agreed and later that day, received a call from someone asking him to verify his banking details and ID number. 

He provided the caller with the information, who then asked him how they would receive the data from him. 

He told the caller he knew nothing about what they were talking about and cut the call. 

Panti said he later received another call in which the person said he would rather give him R250 000 in cash in Sandton. 

He told the court he refused to accept the money in cash and insisted it be deposited into his account so they had proof of payment. 

Panti claimed he was later arrested, relayed the entire incident to the police and took them to Odure's house. 

'Making all this up'

Odure was not found and was alleged to have since moved from the premises.

Mononyane said that it was Telesure that had allegedly contacted Panti and not the other way around. 

"I also suspect the Telesure might be making all this up as part of their risk mitigation strategy in order to minimise the damage should this seriously damaging info make it to the public domain," he said. 

Mononyane maintained that he was innocent and had performed his duties for 13 years without his integrity being compromised. 

"I don't have a single criminal record and never defrauded anyone in my life," he said. 

A police colonel who investigated the case against the two men on Wednesday told the court, however, that he thought the two men should be denied bail. 

The court was expected to deliver a ruling on the matter on Thursday.

Read more on:    johannesburg  |  crime
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