Durban - A Durban real estate company that unwittingly bought plots of land that were allegedly sold to it fraudulently - fooling even the Deeds Office - has promised to refund the six clients they were then sold to.
A woman arrested in connection with the matter is expected to appear in the Durban Magistrate’s Court tomorrow.
Police spokesman, Captain Thulani Zwane, confirmed on Monday that the fraud case was ongoing. He said the case was lodged with Durban Central police in October.
The suspect was arrested when businessman, Mthoko Khuzwayo, owner of Amaqwabe Properties, lured her to his offices where he had brought together the rightful owners of three of the plots of land that she had “sold” to him last year.
He was able to get the alleged fraudster to come to his office because she had earlier offered to sell him three more plots, he said.
Khuzwayo told the Daily News on Friday that after coming face-to-face with the rightful owners, the woman claimed it was her sister who was running the alleged racket.
“At the time she had said that it was her sister who obtained the ID books. She said her sister would identify plots and find out the owner’s name and ID number. She would then obtain the fake IDs and recruit people who looked the ages (of those) in the IDs, put their picture on the ID and paid them R2 000 to front as the landowners,” he said.
Khuzwayo said his company had bought six plots of land from the woman and had then sold them. After realising there was fraud involved, he said he was stuck with the mammoth task of paying back a total of R450 000 to clients.
“The people who bought the land from my company are not at fault here and need to be paid back their money,” he said. “I’m glad there was an arrest and that the law is taking its due course but the woman arrested is not the mastermind and I will never get back the money I bought the land with.”
Khuzwayo said six sales had gone through and everything had been in order, even at the Deeds Office. But it had been the last sale that had rung alarm bells.
“At the Deeds Office they found that the land the company was preparing to buy had also been sold to someone else, so there were two transfers on one plot of land,” he said. “And that was when I set a trap for the woman when I located the rightful owners of the plot of land.”