Senior cops in corruption case all lived beyond their means‚ says Hawks expert

April 01, 2014. CAPE TOWN. Western Cape police commissioner Lieutenant-General Arno Lamoer at the Khayelitsha commission. Pic: Trevor Samson. © Business Day
April 01, 2014. CAPE TOWN. Western Cape police commissioner Lieutenant-General Arno Lamoer at the Khayelitsha commission. Pic: Trevor Samson. © Business Day

Businessman Salim Dawjee could not afford the payments he made to senior Western Cape police officials‚ allegedly in return for favours‚ according to an audit of his bank accounts.

The commander of the financial investigative unit at the Hawks‚ Wynand Wessels‚ who conducted the audit‚ said Dawjee had experienced a R5-million shortfall for the period he was audited — between October 2011 and November 2013.

According to Wessels‚ Dawjee had 13 active personal and business accounts at the time of the audit‚ but only declared four of them to the SA Revenue Service.

Wessels was testifying on Tuesday in the High Court in Cape Town‚ where Dawjee is accused of making “financial contributions” to former Western Cape police commissioner Arno Lamoer and three of his brigadiers to the tune of R1.6-million — for which he allegedly received preferential treatment.

The payments were made for car rentals‚ airline tickets‚ holidays and swimming pool maintenance‚ among other things.

All five are facing 109 charges of corruption‚ racketeering and money laundering. They pleaded not guilty to the charges at the start of the trial on Monday.

Wessels conducted lifestyle audits of the accused over the same period and found they were all living beyond their means.

He said he could only prove the links between the payments and the recipients after receiving further information during his investigation.

“There is no clear explanation why Towbars Cape (one of Dawjee’s companies) would pay for flights or holidays. There is no clear link. They also paid for car rental companies but it was not clear for whose use‚ as there were no other available documents. We had to get extra information.”

The same lack of a paper trail appeared in Lamoer’s claims that Dawjee had paid one of his clothing accounts using a credit card in exchange for cash.

But Wessels said that at the time of the alleged transaction‚ Lamoer did not have enough funds available to him to have that amount of cash.

Lawyers for the accused asked Judge Rosheni Allie for a postponement before cross-examining Wessels.

Allie granted the postponement until Wednesday afternoon but warned that she did not want the trial to be “hamstrung by a constant need to consult”.

 

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