‘Hospital hustler’ fined

2017-03-13 09:24
Alleged fraudster Charlene Singh in the dock on Friday at the Pietermaritzburg regional court.

Alleged fraudster Charlene Singh in the dock on Friday at the Pietermaritzburg regional court. (Chelsea Pieterse)

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Alleged con artist Charlene Singh, was fined R300 (or three months’ imprisonment) on Friday for failing to appear in court on an earlier date.

The alleged scamster appeared in the dock of the Pietermaritzburg Magistrate’s court adorned with gold rings, bracelets and a gold watch.

She was charged with contempt of court for her failure to appear in court on May 20 last year in connection with a charge that she stole a woman’s handbag containing bank cards, and R300 in cash.

Singh explained via her attorney that she had fallen ill on the day she was due in court and was taken to hospital from prison. She said she was only discharged five days later.

The court was told Singh thereafter went home to her mother and her two children in Northdale, as she thought the matter had been settled because she did not hear from the police or prison officials following her discharge from hospital.

However, the magistrate said her excuse was unsatisfactory and ruled that she was in contempt of court. He then ordered her to pay a fine of R300 or face three months’ imprisonment.

Singh is currently in custody at Westville Prison on additional charges.

The case was transferred to Durban along with several other charges which Singh still faces.

She is expected to face around 30 counts of theft at Durban’s regional court on March 16.

The cases follow an intensive investigation by police which resulted in the arrest of Singh and an alleged accomplice, Jeremy Chetty, in December last year.

The pair were arrested by Pietermaritzburg Hawks investigator Captain Jageesh Devnarain “JD” Singh, who traced them to Westville prison where they were being held at the time of a charge of possessing cocaine.

They were initially charged with theft and using false number plates.

They are currently still under investigation in connection with numerous scams involving stealing from the sick and elderly.

One of these scams was the so-called “hospital hustlers” scam in which two people (reportedly women) stole goods from vulnerable and ill patients at hospitals in Pietermaritzburg and Howick.

The women, dressed in “Muslim attire” from head to toe, allegedly befriended groggy patients or pretended to be relatives before stealing belongings.

Another alleged scam under investigation involved a woman who posed as a seller of pain relief patches who approached elderly people in and around Pietermaritzburg.

Anyone with information about any scams is asked to contact Capt JD Singh at 082 444 3160.

Read more on:    pietermaritzburg

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