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Cape Town - Police have been investigating the case of a fraudster who allegedly passed himself off as a doctor to steal equipment from Cape Town hospitals. He is also being sought in Germany in connection with an investment scam.
Last week, Woodstock police issued an identikit identifying a man who uses the names “Doctor” Gabriel Mesko or Gabriel Maiwald or Gabriel Jughnel as an alleged fraudster who stole equipment worth R96 000 from Groote Schuur and other hospitals.
Police spokesman Colonel Tembinkosi Kinan said: “The suspect impersonates a medical practitioner... The suspect’s last known address in central Cape Town was visited and a large quantity of medical equipment and doctors’ uniforms were confiscated in July.”
Police added that the man would deal with suppliers on behalf of hospitals and then allegedly disappear with newly delivered equipment.
A Somerset West businessman, who asked not to be named, read news reports on the fraud investigation last week and contacted the Cape Argus.
He claimed the man’s real name is Gabriel Junghänel - a German who fled to South Africa. This came after a warrant for his arrest was issued by German police in 2005 in connection with an alleged savings fund scam involving an investment company called Swiss Trading Peak 1.
The businessman claimed Junghänel had allegedly defrauded people, hospitals and businesses in South Africa.
“He cheated us using false Swiss identity documents (confirmed as such by the Swiss Consulate) on the false name Gabriel Maiwald,” the businessman said.
An affidavit from the Health Professions Council of South Africa showed that no Dr Gabriel Mesko or Dr Gabriel Maiwald was registered to work as a doctor in the country.
A case of fraud was lodged with Somerset West police in January, but the businessman alleges that the follow-up investigation was slow while Junghänel went on living at an address in Llandudno.
Department of Health spokeswoman Angelique Jordaan could not confirm the alleged fraud at Groote Schuur, but said the police’s identikit of the suspect is being circulated at state hospitals.