Pretoria – The Secunda Regional Court has released fraud-accused Gert Wessel van der Westhuizen, on R5 000 bail.
The 60-year-old was arrested by the Secunda-based Hawks serious commercial crime investigation and charged with fraud totalling over R2.3 million.
“It is alleged that three suspects recruited unsuspecting victims to invest money (promising that) in return they will get interest. The complainant in this matter invested R1 200 000 on the advice of an accomplice of Van der Westhuizen on October 9, 2017 into Extreme Business Solutions by transferring the money into an FNB bank account,” said Hawks spokesperson in Mpumalanga, Captain Dineo Lucy Sekgotodi.
“After investigation, it was discovered that the account holder is Extreme Business Solutions (PTY) Ltd and that Gert Wessel van der Westhuizen was appointed as the authorised representative primary user for FNB online banking dated June 6, 2014 as the only signatory as per affidavit in terms of section 236 of Act 51 of 1977 from FNB Ban,” she said.
Sekgotodi said Van der Westhuizen’s accomplice again advised the complainant to invest in another company called (UGI) Unique Global investments (PTY) LTD because it allegedly had better returns compared to Extreme Business solutions.
“On that advice, the complainant transferred R500 000 into an FNB account on November 13, 2018 to convert into bitcoins
“The ensuing investigation revealed that the account belonged to COINBR SA (PTY) LTD and that a second accomplice was appointed as the authorised representative primary user for FNB online Banking dated April 28, 2015 as authorised signatory according to an affidavit in terms of section 236 of Act 51 of 1977 from FNB bank,” she said.
Due to her investments, the victim was promised a monthly payment of R40 000.
The payments were received for 11 months and thereafter they stopped.
“The complainant made some enquiries with Hester Marx as to why the payments have stopped. The complainant was given a barrage of excuses but eventually the complainant was promised that the outstanding monies will be paid. The complainant’s money was used to purchase bitcoins in an account allegedly managed by Extreme Business Solutions,” said Sekgotodi.
“The total amount with interest for the investments is approximately R2.3 million,” she said.
The case was postponed to June 10 for the other two suspects, whose warrants have been issued, to be arrested and be joined with Van der Westhuizen’s in his next appearance.