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Businessman in court over R53m fraud

A Pretoria businessman who appeared in court on Thursday in connection with alleged fraud, money laundering and corruption amounting to R53m was released on R100,000 bail.
A Pretoria businessman who appeared in court on Thursday in connection with alleged fraud, money laundering and corruption amounting to R53m was released on R100,000 bail.
Image: Gallo Images/Thinkstock

A Pretoria businessman who appeared in court on Thursday in connection with alleged fraud, money laundering and corruption amounting to R53m was released on R100,000 bail.

Hawks spokesperson Brig Hangwani Mulaudzi said Ivo Gunter Wegrostek, 62, appeared briefly in the Pretoria magistrate's court.

His case was postponed to February 25 2020 and has been transferred to the Pretoria specialised commercial crime's court.

“Wegrostek was also slapped with strict bail conditions which, among other things, include that he cannot travel outside of the country, he must report daily at the Douglasdale police station, not leave Gauteng without the consent of the investigative officer, and he was also ordered to hand over his Austrian and SA passports,” said Mulaudzi.

According to Mulaudzi, Wegrostek is alleged to have stolen R53m which was earmarked for the National Fund for Municipality Workers (NFMW) in the City of Tshwane.

“The Hawks’ National Clean Audit Task Team (CATT) deployed in the City of Tshwane municipality conducted a special operation on Wednesday and arrested him for allegedly stealing the money from the municipality's bank account on August 30 2019.

“The team worked tirelessly upon receiving the case on September 3 2019, and last month the team conducted a search and seizure operation at the suspect's business and residential addresses wherein several computers, cellphones and debit cards were seized,” Mulaudzi said.

These exhibits, Muluadzi said, provided more “overwhelming” evidence that proved that Wegrostek was part of a big criminal syndicate operating across provincial and international borders.

“Subsequently through intensive investigations the team detected that the stolen funds were allegedly laundered from his company Sasgold (Pty) Ltd into several business and relatives bank accounts locally and internationally.

“The team then successfully managed to seize and freeze several funds in certain accounts relating to the stolen R53m,” Mulaudzi said, adding that more arrests were imminent.