Durban cops in court for pocketing nearly R700,000 in UIF funds

24 August 2020 - 19:33 By Nonkululeko Njilo
Unemployed people queue for UIF payments. Three people, including two police officers, were arrested by the Hawks on Monday for allegedly stealing nearly R700,000 in UIF funds.
Unemployed people queue for UIF payments. Three people, including two police officers, were arrested by the Hawks on Monday for allegedly stealing nearly R700,000 in UIF funds. 
Image: Picture: SUNDAY TIMES

The Hawks on Monday arrested three people, including two police officers, after they allegedly pocketed over R692,000 in UIF funds.  

The trio were apprehended in Durban by the Germiston serious corruption investigation assets unit, said spokesperson Capt Ndivhuwo Mulamu. 

The funds in question were meant for a company that had applied for relief from the fund.

“National Adhesive applied for Covid-19 Unemployment Insurance Funds (UIF) relief funds for their employees, and their application was duly processed. It however emerged that the company’s banking details were fraudulently changed and an amount of R692,185.55 was deposited into another different bank account,” said Mulamu.

“Investigations revealed that the account belonged to a police official from Durban Central tactical response team.”

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The said officer allegedly transferred the money into different bank accounts belonging to another police official and two civilians. 

Mulamu said warrants of arrest were issued against the two police sergeants and a civilian.

A fourth suspect was identified but not arrested, as he cooperated with the investigations. He was ordered to appear in court with the other three. 

The group was expected to appear at the Durban specialised commercial crimes court for alleged fraud and money laundering on Tuesday.

Preliminary investigations led to almost R240,000 being frozen, while efforts to recover the stolen money were ongoing, said Mulamu.

“The investigation team has also seized a NP200 bakkie, as well as a stand which was purchased through the proceeds of crime. Both will be forfeited to the state,” she added. 

Hawks head Lt-Gen Godfrey Lebeya welcomed the arrests. He commended the Hawks as well as the Financial Intelligence Centre, the National Prosecuting Authority and the Asset Forfeiture Unit for the speedy investigation.

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