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Company loses R2 million after fraudster creates 56 ’ghost employees’, pockets cash

THE Hawks have arrested a 49-year-old man for defrauding a security company of more than R2 million through hiring fictitious workers. File Picture

THE Hawks have arrested a 49-year-old man for defrauding a security company of more than R2 million through hiring fictitious workers. File Picture

Published Jan 26, 2022

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Pretoria - A 49-year-old man is set to appear before the Potchefstroom Magistrate’s Court on charges of fraud and money laundering, following his arrest in the early hours of this morning.

Spokesperson for the Directorate for Priority Crime Investigation (Hawks) Colonel Katlego Mogale said the suspect was arrested in Johannesburg on Wednesday morning.

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“It is reported that between 2019 and 2020, the suspect – who was employed as general manager by a security company – approached area supervisors working around North West to start recruiting ’ghost employees’,” said Mogale.

The supervisors allegedly recruited about 56 “ghost employees”, who were paid about R5 000 per month.

“The fictitious employees reportedly received monthly salaries, in their fake bank accounts, which were later reversed by the suspect and deposited into his personal account,” said Mogale.

“The suspect allegedly received undue payments of about R2.1 million, over a period of 12 months.”

In October, a 54-year-old man appeared in the Palm Ridge Specialised Commercial Crimes Court, charged with fraud to the value of about R2.2 million.

“It is alleged that Christiaan Frederick van Wyk created fraudulent payment transactions between 2012 and 2018, when he was working at a Melrose-based company, PEG Holdings, as a secretary and financial manager,” Gauteng Hawks spokesperson Captain Ndivhuwo Mulamu said at the time.

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She said the Hawks’ serious commercial crime investigation team in Johannesburg received the matter for investigation, into the allegations against Van Wyk.

“Further investigations revealed that Van Wyk transferred about R2.2 million, in different transactions, into his bank accounts during the period,” said Mulamu.

A warrant of arrest was issued for Van Wyk’s apprehension, and he handed himself over to authorities at the Johannesburg Hawks’ office, where he was formally charged with fraud.

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He appeared in court on the same day and was granted R10 000 bail.

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