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Durban father and son arrested for alleged R18m debit order fraud

Nivashni Nair Senior reporter
The pair, directors of a Durban-based call centre, were charged with fraud involving unauthorised debit order transactions in which bank clients collectively lost about R18m. Stock photo.
The pair, directors of a Durban-based call centre, were charged with fraud involving unauthorised debit order transactions in which bank clients collectively lost about R18m. Stock photo.
Image: 123RF/Olivier Le Moal

A father and son will join two others in the Palm Ridge specialised commercial crimes court on May 27 for their alleged part in a R99 debit order fraud amounting to R18m.

Hawks spokesperson Capt Ndivhuwo Mulamu said 50-year-old Ravenda Singh and his 26-year-old son Andrew handed themselves over to the Hawks’ serious commercial crime investigation unit in Johannesburg last week.

The pair, directors of a Durban-based call centre called Sub User, were charged with fraud involving unauthorised debit order transactions in which bank clients collectively lost about R18m.

They appeared in the Palm Ridge specialised commercial crimes court and were each granted R30,000 bail.

Their case was postponed to May 27 when they will join co-accused Jason Foster, 39, and Richard Marsden, 51, who were previously arrested and later released on R30,000 and R100,000 bail respectively.

“The suspects were linked through a forensic investigation carried out by the banks, which discovered undue debit orders through the suspects’ call centre companies. The accused allegedly created a fraudulent bank payment system to collect debit orders for call centres which resulted in unauthorised debit orders,” said Mulamu.

Many clients from banks countrywide reportedly lost cash through the R99 debit order withdrawn fraudulently between November 2018 and February 2019.

Foster was arrested in February this year at Johannesburg’s OR Tambo International Airport, while Marsden was taken into custody at Cape Town International Airport last year.

“Foster and Marsden are also directors of the Durban-based call centre companies Blue Debit and Talent Base. The Hawks' investigation revealed the syndicate siphoned approximately R248m from unsuspecting bank clients and transferred the money into bank accounts allegedly linked to the syndicate,” said Mulamu.

Gauteng Hawks head Maj-Gen Ebrahim Kadwa applauded the investigation team.

TimesLIVE


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