AN INTELLIGENCE DRIVEN OPERATION LED TO ARREST OF ALLEGED FRAUDSTER
NELSPRUIT – The Provincial Commissioner of the South African Police Service in Mpumalanga, Lieutenant General Semakaleng Manamela, has praised police formations between Mpumalanga and Gauteng for manning an Intelligence-Driven Operation wherein a 52-year-old Nigerian National was nabbed for fraud. His arrest spirals from an incident at which on 06 January 2021, the Department of Finance in Mpumalanga suffered a loss of R150 000, which was intended to be paid to a supplier.
Unbeknown to the department that the account of the said supplier was hacked, leading to him not receiving his payment. After this, the supplier tendered a complaint to the department and that is when it surfaced that actually, the funds were deposited into the wrong account.
The department immediately opened a case in that regard and Crime Intelligence gathered enough information until a tactical operation was conducted after the account holder was identified. On 23 July 2021, the suspect was followed and apprehended in Gauteng and police seized a number of documents with bank account numbers.
It has since been discovered that the suspect was also sought in Sophiatown for a theft case that occurred in 2018. Further investigation has also revealed that the suspect was previously arrested in different police stations, three in Gauteng and one in the Eastern Cape provinces respectively for fraud.
The astute investigation team has currently identified a total of 18 bank accounts that they suspect were used for fraudulent activities, however, they are yet to be confirmed by the South African Banking Risk Information Centre (SABRIC). One of the accounts, has preliminary been confirmed as having been used to swindle Mine workers’ Provident Fund of more than R50 million, however, an extensive probe on this matter is underway.
The suspect is expected to appear before the Nelspruit Magistrate’s Court tomorrow, 26 July 2021, facing a charge of fraud relating to the Department of Finance in Mpumalanga.
” This is a job well done by police in the two provinces. They have combined their prowess and executed a well-knitted operation which led to the arrest of the alleged fraudster. We will await for SABRIC to assist in the investigation so that we can be able to identify who else has been defrauded by the suspect. All his activities will be unraveled, ” said General Manamela.