Woman tried to defraud Absa of millions

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Cape Town - A woman who used a fraudulently obtained British passport in an attempt to cash a cheque for several million rand was arrested in the bank


Eboni Rejoice Morrison was arrested at the Absa Bank in Montague Gardens in January last year.

She appeared briefly in the Specialised Commercial Crimes Court in Bellville on Friday, accused of having presented false documentation in a bid to defraud Absa and Longridge Investments.

She is charged with conspiracy to commit fraud, two counts of fraud and three counts of forgery.

According to the charge sheet, on December 31 Morrison went to Absa Bank in Montague Gardens to open a savings account.

The State alleges that she presented a British passport bearing her photograph and a different name - Ellen Papado Poulos, born in October 1973. Her address was given as Milnerton Ridge. She also had a work permit from the Department of Home Affairs in the same name.

The account was opened, processed and approved and she was issued with a debit card.

On January 4, Morrison deposited a cheque of £302 000 (more than R5 million) into the new Absa account.

The cheque was purportedly drawn on Longbridge Investments to pay Ellen Papdo Poulos and issued by Barclays Bank.

It was dated November 11, 2012, and signed by an authorised signatory of Longridge.

When she presented the cheque, Morrison again produced the passport, work permit and proof of address. But the State says she was not entitled to the money and Longbridge had not authorised the cheque payment.

Payment of the cheque was stopped and she was arrested inside the bank the same day.

The passport and work permit were found to be fraudulent and the signature of the authorised signatory of Longridge Investments was found to have been forged.

It was later found that the passport number was registered to a different person, that of Harrison Wells, a British citizen born in 1995.

The State claims Morrison “well knew” that the cheque was not drawn and signed by Longridge Investments and that it was not current, valid and good and would not be honoured on presentation.

Morrison is due back in court on June 4.

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Cape Argus

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