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Man transferred R34 million and lost it in Gauteng crypto currency investment scam

Two additional suspects, Zain Muhammed Valle [pictured] and Michelle Bianca Bezuidenhout were arrested by the Hawks in Gauteng after a complainant lost R34 million in a scam. Photo: Supplied/Hawks

Two additional suspects, Zain Muhammed Valle [pictured] and Michelle Bianca Bezuidenhout were arrested by the Hawks in Gauteng after a complainant lost R34 million in a scam. Photo: Supplied/Hawks

Published Jun 30, 2022

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Pretoria – Two suspects, aged 25 and 57, charged with fraud and money laundering, appeared before the Lenasia Regional Court after they were arrested on Monday by the Hawks’ serious commercial crime investigation team in Johannesburg.

“The investigation team executed a warrant of arrest against the two additional accused, Zain Muhammed Valle, 57, and Michelle Bianca Bezuidenhout, 25, at their respective residence in Lenasia and Alberton,” said Gauteng Hawks spokesperson Captain Captain Ndivhuwo Mulamu.

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Two additional suspects, Zain Muhammed Valle and Michelle Bianca Bezuidenhout [pictured] were arrested by the Hawks in Gauteng after a complainant lost R34 million in a scam. Photo: Supplied/Hawks

The arrest of the two emanated from an alleged crypto currency establishment scam where the complainant was lured to invest in Siyakhula Logistics Pty (LTD) in February 2020, with the potential of lucrative dividends.

Mulamu said the complainant in the matter allegedly transferred approximately R34 million into the establishment and Bezuidenhout’s bank accounts, on different transactions.

“Valle and Bezuidenhout joined Jarrod de Lange, 32, in the dock [on Tuesday], who was arrested in 2020 by the Lenasia police for the same charges. Allegations are that Valle introduced the complainant to his business acquaintance, De Lange to enter into a partnership in the crypto currency establishment but the money was used for Liverage Trading company without the complainant’s consent,” she said.

Valle and Bezuidenhout were granted R10 000 bail each. Bezuidenhout’s husband and co-accused, De Lange was released on R20 000 bail.

The case was postponed to 19 July 2022 for legal representation.

Earlier this month, two women arrested for allegedly stealing R10 million from their employer were released on bail by the Rustenburg Magistrate’s Court.

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The Hawks had arrested Dinah Dorothea Botes, 40, and Alicia Gwanathon Cullingham, 32, and the duo appeared in court where Botes was released on R30 000 bail and Cullingham was granted R15 000 bail.

The case against them was postponed to July 8 for appearance at the regional court.

“The duo was employed by Sitona Mining when they allegedly stole from the mine. It is alleged that between 2014 and 2019 Botes transferred over R9.3m into two of her personal accounts and allegedly concealed and disguised the source of the money. She now faces 126 counts of theft and one count of contravention of section 4(b)(i), read with section 1 and 8 of Act 121 of 1998 of the Prevention of Organised Crime Act (POCA).

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“Cullingham also allegedly used the same modus operandi and transferred over R1m into her account during the same period. She faces 18 counts of theft and 21 counts of contravention of section 4(b)(i) of Act 121 of 1998 of POCA,” Hawks spokesperson in North West, Captain Tlangelani Rikhotso said at the time.

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