Fraudsters fail to dupe Absa bankers into releasing R400m to their accounts

16 March 2021 - 14:29
Three people who allegedly tried to fool bank officials into releasing millions into their accounts are behind bars.
Three people who allegedly tried to fool bank officials into releasing millions into their accounts are behind bars.
Image: 123RF/BELCHONOK

Three people who tried to dupe bank workers into believing they were government officials there to release R400m from a municipal account had to leave the branch in handcuffs last week.

The incident happened in Rustenburg on Friday.

“It is alleged the three accused walked into an Absa branch in Rustenburg and pretended to be the board of directors for the City of Johannesburg metropolitan municipality,” said police spokesperson Capt Tlangelani Rikhotso.

“They allegedly presented fraudulent documents and ordered the transfer of almost R400m to be wired into 14 different trust accounts. The documents presented to the bank were, however, confirmed as fraudulent and the matter was reported to the police, who then detained the three accused,” Rikhotso said.

The trio made their first court appearance in the Rustenburg magistrate’s court on Monday, where they were named as 27-year-old Palesa Montana, Natasha Nakedi and Shirinda Mitimba, who are both 33.

They face charges of fraud and identity theft.

Their case has been postponed to March 24 2021 for a formal bail application.

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