Polokwane - A couple enriched themselves through drugging people and enlisting others to withdraw their bank savings, the High Court in Polokwane heard on Tuesday.
Prosecutor Abbey Kwalipe told the court the alleged scam was lucrative for those involved, a Sapa correspondent reported.
Thomas Mothwa and his wife Refilwe have been charged with 53 offences, including murder, attempted murder, robbery, fraud, theft, racketeering, and possession of drugs.
“It is clear my lord that the withdrawals were made on the instruction of Thomas, and he distributed the withdrawals to his accomplices,” Kwalipe said.
The couple were allegedly found in possession of 58 bank cards that were not theirs. They allegedly recruited others, including one Jan Mohlala, to make fraudulent withdrawals from their victims' bank accounts.
The accomplices allegedly used identity documents stolen from the victims, with their own photos pasted into them, to convince banks that they were the rightful account holders.
Four people died and two are still missing, presumed dead, in the crimes committed between 2000 and 2007.
The Mothwas would wait near banks in Limpopo and in Rustenburg, in the North West, and offer lifts to people. They then allegedly offered their victims cooldrinks laced with drugs and waited until they lost consciousness, before dumping them on the side of the road, throwing them over a bridge, or into a river. Four people were killed. James Molomo and George Moshoana are still missing.
Mohlala is already serving a 35-year prison sentence for his involvement in the crime.
Police believed other members of the gang were still at large because people were still being targeted using a similar modus operandi.