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Port Elizabeth - The case against a New Castle accountant, who worked for a national footwear retailer and allegedly defrauded the company of R8.3 million, was postponed in the Port Elizabeth Commercial Crimes Court on Monday. 

Ravishkar Ramgoolam is facing 37 charges of fraud after an alleged scam in which he also claimed he was kidnapped‚ robbed of his Mercedes-Benz and forced to transfer R343 000 out of his bank account.

Ramgoolam, who was employed by popular South African sports retail outlet Street Fever, was not at court proceedings on Monday and a warrant of arrest has been held over. 

He appeared in court last month where the matter was postponed for his lawyer to peruse the docket. 

On Monday the case was again postponed, at the request of his KwaZulu-Natal lawyer, who needed more time to consult with Ramgoolam and was busy with other trials. 

His lawyer was not at court on Monday and a local attorney was dealing with the matter before Magistrate Johannes Claasen. 

Between April 2016 and May 2017, Ramgoolam had direct access to the business banking system and assisted the Financial Manager, Ashraf Brey, in making payments to creditors. 

According to the indictment, the accused prepared remittance advice, created spreadsheets, which included the banking details and names of the creditors, the amounts that were due to them for payment and a summary sheet with all the invoices of the creditors. 

Ramgoolam then presented these documents to Brey who would load the amounts on ABSA's business integrator for payment. Street Fever director, Haroon Bemat would then sign off on payments, relying on the information prepared by Ramgoolam. 

According to the indictment, Ramgoolam allegedly had nine bank accounts and fraudulently substituted the banking details of Street Fever's suppliers with his own banking details. This resulted in large sums of money being paid into Ramgoolam's bank account by Street Fever, the charge sheet reads. 

Then in May last year, Haroon Bemat and Dawood Bemat confronted Ramgoolam about the alleged theft. According to the state, Ramgoolam voluntarily transferred an amount of R343 000 into Dawood Bemat's bank account. 

The next day, in the presence of an attorney, Ramgoolam signed an admission of guilt document and surrendered a Mercedes-Benz vehicle to the Bemats.  

However, the very same month, Ramgoolam opened a case against the Bemats at the Humewood police station, claiming they had stolen the amount of R343 000 and the vehicle and kidnapped him.  

According to the state, Ramgoolam opened a false theft of motor vehicle, kidnapping and intimidation case against them and is facing an additional charge of defeating the administration of justice.  

The case was postponed until December 10. 

African News Agency (ANA)