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Durban - An uMhlanga Rocks home owned by the politically connected Gupta family was one of several properties raided by police and private investigators in a hunt for stolen IT stock this week, said private investigator Sean Peirce.
A manager from the Gupta’s company, Sahara Computers, was one of eight people arrested in the swoop on Tuesday.
Peirce said the arrests were linked to an alleged plan to scam IT hardware distributors Syntech, of Cape Town, out of just under R250 000 in stock.
The eight appeared in the Pinetown Magistrate’s Court on Thursday and were granted bail, National Prosecuting Authority spokeswoman Natasha Ramkisson said.
Peirce said the arrests came after Syntech contacted him last week.
The company became concerned after a woman, who used the names “Fathima” and “Sumaya” and who said she worked for a vehicle management company, bought slightly less than R250 000 worth of stock from the company.
The vehicle management company was approved for a 30-day account and the stock the woman ordered was dispatched by air.
Peirce said his investigations revealed that, while the vehicle management company the woman claimed to work for existed, it had not ordered the stock.
He tracked the woman to a house in Phoenix. She denied having had anything to do with the matter at first but, after multiple visits from Peirce and police, she was arrested.
The woman led authorities to a Westville house where a small amount of what was believed to be the stock in question was seized.
From there, they made their way to homes and businesses in and around Durban and Pietermaritzburg. They arrested eight people they believed had been involved in buying, selling and facilitating the sale of the stock. The Sahara Computers manager was among them.
Peirce said that R40 000 in stock was seized and investigations were continuing.
Gupta family spokesman Gary Naidoo told Sapa on Friday that they learnt from an employee that another employee was arrested in the week.
He said they had not been contacted by the police or any other authority regarding the arrest nor did they know why the employee was arrested.
"We would advise that you contact the investigating officer in this matter as we do not have any further information at this point in time," he said.
The Mercury and Sapa