South African women accused of stealing R57 million from Central Bank of Lesotho in court

Uthando Lorraine Modise and Marcious Lerato Lisene. Photo: Hawks

Uthando Lorraine Modise and Marcious Lerato Lisene. Photo: Hawks

Published Feb 28, 2024


Two women and a company appeared in the Ficksburg Magistrate’s Court in the Free State on fraud and money laundering charges relating to R57 million that was stolen from the Central Bank of Lesotho.

Traggulogy (Pty) Ltd and its director Uthando Lorraine Modise, 37, and Marcious Lerato Lisene, 37, were arrested on Monday after warrants of arrest were issued for the duo.

The provincial spokesperson for the Directorate for Priority Crime Investigation (known as Hawks), Warrant Officer Fikiswa Matoti said the relationship between the Hawks and Lesotho Mounted Police Service was growing in leaps and bounds.

Matoti said the accused allegedly stole money from the Central Bank of Lesotho in 2021.

Both women are South African citizens.

“The Bloemfontein-based Priority Crime Specialised Investigation (PCSI) was requested by their counterparts in Lesotho to trace money defrauded at the Central Bank of Lesotho and transferred to different South African companies,” Matoti said.

“This crime was committed with the assistance of Lesotho officials who, after intercepting vouchers meant for legitimate service providers diverted payments to their co-conspirators in South Africa.”

Some officials have already appeared before a court in Lesotho.

Matoti said with the help of the Financial Intelligence Centre, it was established that money was channelled to a South African bank account under different company accounts.

Head of the Hawks in the Free State, Major General Mokgadi Bokaba expressed her appreciation for the growing collaboration to curb cross-border crime, especially complex money laundering involving multiple accounts in different countries.

The duo are expected back in court on March 13, to apply for bail.

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