'Get-rich-quick' man has his assets frozen

23 July 2015 - 02:02 By Philani Nombembe

The alleged mastermind of a Cape Town pyramid scheme, who is said to have splurged investors' money on upmarket homes, groceries and cars for his wife, had assets worth R138-million frozen by the Asset Forfeiture Unit yesterday. The unit said Colin Davids, sole member of the company Platinum Forex, allegedly lured unsuspecting victims with promises of as much as an 84% return on their foreign-exchange investments.Investigations have apparently revealed that he used some investors money to pay others and spent the rest on property and his family. He is alleged to have collected more than R100-million.The forfeiture unit, under the National Prosecuting Authority, brought a high court application to have Davids's assets frozen, after a probe by the Financial Intelligence Centre, the Financial Services Board and the Hawks."Court papers allege that Colin Davids used ... investors' funds to pay for two immovable properties in Plattekloof and Hermanus, motor vehicles for his wife, Charlyn, (and) household expenses from retail stores," said NPA Western Cape spokesman Eric Ntabazalila.Davids has a captivated audience on his Facebook page, where he posts long religious speeches. He claims to have studied at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem.One of his favourite quotes reads: "Don't wait for things to happen - make it happen. You are destined to be a success. Be good, do good."The Cape Town High Court granted the preservation order yesterday pending an AFU application to forfeit the assets. The court will appoint a curator to compensate the victims if the order is granted.The Hawks are investigating a criminal case against Davids and his company.Ntabazalila hailed the preservation order, saying it had saved "hundreds of investors who invested in Platinum Forex"."The investigations revealed that the unlawful business of Platinum Forex commenced during August 2013 and lured numerous members of the public, though it would eventually collapse in view of the unrealistic returns offered," he said."Investigations also revealed that contrary to the promise made to the clients that their monies would be invested in the forex market, some of the monies were in fact 'invested' in short-term investment accounts held with ACM Gold and Forex Trading (Pty) Ltd, a Gauteng-based entity and Nedbank."The companies have also been cited as respondents in the application, to preserve the funds invested with them. There is no alleged wrongdoing by them.

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