Accounts frozen after UIF Covid-19 relief fund was allegedly defrauded of R700 000

Photo: Jaco Marais
  • The bank accounts of a man who allegedly defrauded the Unemployment Insurance Fund's Covid relief fund of almost R700 000 have been frozen.
  • The man allegedly received funds earmarked for 150 employees of a Durban-based company.
  • He allegedly transferred the money to numerous bank accounts in an attempt to hide its origin.

The Asset Forfeiture Unit has frozen the bank accounts of a man suspected of defrauding the Unemployment Insurance Fund (UIF) of almost R700 000.

The Gauteng High Court in Pretoria has ordered that a number of bank accounts linked to Thokozani Mchunu be frozen following suspicions that he fraudulently received funds from the UIF, spokesperson for the National Prosecuting Authority Sipho Ngwema said. 

"It is alleged that an amount of R692 185.55 was fraudulently, or mistakenly, paid into a bank account in Durban, KwaZulu-Natal, which is registered in Mchunu's name," Ngwema said.

On 15 April, a Durban-based company National Adhesive Distributors CC successfully applied to the Covid-19 relief fund for an amount of R692 185.55 on behalf of its employees and their dependents.

READ | UIF Covid-19 payouts have been extended into August

These relief funds were to be paid over to more than 150 people. However, on 12 June the UIF was alerted by the company that the funds had not reflected in their bank account.

"It was discovered that the funds went to Mchunu, a private individual who is neither employed by the UIF nor the National Adhesive Distributors CC," Ngwema said.

After receiving the funds, Mchunu transferred portions of the money into other bank accounts in his name, various stokvel accounts and numerous bank accounts of other people in an attempt to disguise the origin of the funds.

The matter was reported to the police, who were investigating allegations of fraud, theft and money laundering.

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