Five alleged fraud syndicate members appear in court
Five suspects alleged to be members of a fraud syndicate appeared in the Magistrate’s Court in George in the Western Cape on Friday after they were arrested by the Hawks’ Serious Organised Crime Unit.
The five are Martinus Christoffel Nagel (64)‚ Sontaga David Sathekge (62)‚ Clement Khutso Ngwatwane (40)‚ Lucky Masekela Magoro (30)‚ and a female Retiwe Queen Xorile (28).
“The group whose modus operandi allegedly involves targeting and withdrawing cash from bank accounts of recipients of provident or pension fund payouts whilst pretending to be legitimate account holders through forged documents‚ landed at the George Airport from Gauteng during the 1st of November 2016‚ and perpetrated a series of illegal bank transactions in the subsequent days around Knysna and Mossel Bay culminating in a failed bid by Nagel to withdraw over R380‚000 at a local Standard Bank Branch in George‚” said Hawks spokesman Captain Lloyd Ramovha.
He said the bank had alerted authorities of suspicious activities after Nagel unsuccessfully tried to transact on an unauthorised account‚ which had drawn the attention of the elite unit prompting an immediate response.
“Members observed his movements and arrested him outside the bank.
“Preliminary investigations linked him to a vehicle with unknown occupants that was earlier seen around the parking lot‚ it turned out to be a hired vehicle‚ members followed-up with the rental company and immediately tracked it to Humansdorp in the Eastern Cape where it was corralled by local police resulting in the arrest of the suspects‚” Ramovha said.
He added that almost R300‚000 in cash which included American dollars was seized.
The matter has been postponed to January 10‚ pending further investigations.
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