Custody battle: dad’s fraud charges false

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Durban - A Durban man says his former wife bribed police to pull off an elaborate scam so she could take their children to Europe.

She tried to get him arrested on trumped up charges, he says.

The couple, who may not be named to protect their children, divorced in June after a three-year court battle.

They have been engaged in a bitter legal battle since their divorce because the ex-wife wants their young children to live with her. The court ordered that they live with the father.

In an application filed in the Durban High Court in September, the woman asked that the court order be changed because her husband was a “fugitive from justice”.

She said she feared for the safety of herself and their children and presented affidavits, purportedly by two Pretoria policemen, alleging her ex-husband faced charges of money laundering or racketeering, and fraud.

She said a warrant for his arrest had been issued and he had evaded arrest on September 20 when the same policemen went to his home.

The policemen later said that the affidavits had been falsified.

In their affidavits, the officers said they had travelled to KwaZulu-Natal to try to interview the woman’s ex-husband in September, but this was in connection with an “unrelated, separate investigation”.

They said there was no warrant of arrest for the man and knew nothing of a “fraud syndicate”.

The woman claimed she had no idea the fraud charges were not legitimate or that the affidavits could have been made up.

In new court papers, filed in response to an application brought by a court-appointed attorney handling the affairs of the children, the father claims his ex-wife, her brother and her lawyer were complicit in the elaborate plot.

“The second respondent (ex-wife) and her brother are directly responsible for bribing corrupt police officers to have me arrested so she could launch her application.”

The man said his ex-wife met the police at the Riverside Hotel a day before the arrest attempt. He alleged her brother paid the officers’ hotel bill.

He said the plan was that after his arrest, she would take the children to Europe on a “private jet”.

“Once an order had been obtained granting guardianship to the second respondent, she and the minor children would proceed to Botswana, where a jet would take them to Europe.”

He said he had filed complaints of fraud, forgery and uttering against his ex-wife, her brother and her lawyer in September.

“The police are still investigating this complaint. I am not sure when their investigation will be completed. They have a lot to answer for.”

The court battle between the couple has been set down for later this month.

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The Mercury


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