Hawks arrest suspect in City of Tshwane fraud
A syndicate operating across SA and international borders is under investigation by the Hawks after the arrest of a suspect in connection with money plundered from the City of Tshwane's bank account.
Brigadier Hangwani Mulaudzi said a 62-year-old suspect is expected to appear in the Pretoria Specialised Commercial Crimes court on Thursday for alleged fraud, money laundering and corruption amounting to R53m.
The stolen funds were earmarked for the National Fund for Municipal Workers in the City of Tshwane.
The Hawks’ National Clean Audit Task Team conducted a special operation.
The money was allegedly stolen from the City of Tshwane Municipality's bank account on August 30, said Mulaudzi.
“The team worked tirelessly upon receiving the case on 3 September 2019, and last month conducted a search and seizure operation at the suspect's business and residential addresses wherein several computers, cellphones and debit cards were seized.
“These exhibits provided more overwhelming evidence that proved that the suspect was part of a big criminal syndicate operating across provincial and international borders.”
Subsequently, Mulaudzi said, “through intensive investigations the team detected that the stolen funds were laundered into several business and relatives' bank accounts locally and internationally”.
The team then managed to seize and freeze “several funds in certain accounts”.
National Hawks boss Lieutenant General Godfrey Lebeya welcomed the arrest, saying: “I am satisfied with the speed with which the team has been able to handle this matter. This is the money that could have been used to deliver services to the people of Tshwane.”
The Hawks said more arrests were expected.