Slap on the wrist for KZN con man convicted in R7m forex fraud

14 October 2020 - 18:29
A KZN man received a suspended sentence after being found guilty of defrauding his clients of close to R7m in a Forex trading scam.
A KZN man received a suspended sentence after being found guilty of defrauding his clients of close to R7m in a Forex trading scam.
Image: 123RF/Evgenyi Lastochkin

A 59-year-old KwaZulu-Natal businessman received a slap on the wrist after being found guilty of fraud to the tune of R7m.

Jan Hendrik van Zyl recently appeared in the Durban specialised commercial crimes court for various cases of fraud committed in KZN between 2009 and 2014.

Hawks spokesperson Simphiwe Mhlongo said Van Zyl persuaded people to invest money in foreign exchange (forex) trading, through his company, with the promise of a 5% return per month.

“The accused, Jan Hendrik Van Zyl, also known as Henk, owns a company called QPT Trading, which is based in Newcastle with branches in Amanzimtoti and Ballito. The court heard that he told his victims that he was using their cash to trade in  foreign currencies and promised them a return of 5% per month. The contracts were signed and he then paid out few monthly returns but then stopped paying,” Mhlongo said.

Mhlongo said the matter was reported to police and the case docket was allocated to Hawks members from Durban's serious commercial crime unit.

“As a result, R4.5m was recovered and paid back to the investors. Last week, Van Zyl was sentenced to 10 years' imprisonment wholly suspended for five years on condition that he is not found guilty of the same offence during the period of suspension. He is further sentenced to perform community services.”

Van Zyl told the court that he would pay back the outstanding amount of R2.4m in monthly instalments of R40,000 through the clerk of the court.

In a separate incident, a 31-year-old woman was convicted and sentenced to four years direct imprisonment in the same court on Tuesday.

Mamazane Maphumulo was found guilty of fraud, corruption, forgery and uttering at King Shaka International Airport in March 2018.

Mhlongo said Maphumulo lured the complainant and purported to be an employee of the Road Accident Fund.

“She promised to fast-track his claim on condition that he paid her R90,000. The matter was reported to the Hawks at Durban's serious corruption investigation unit and an undercover operation was conducted.”

He said Maphumulo was caught red-handed taking cash from the complainant and was arrested.

“She was charged and appeared in court several times until she was sentenced,” said Mhlongo.


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