A 36-year-old former hotel manager has been convicted on charges of fraud and money laundering. File picture
A 36-year-old former hotel manager has been convicted on charges of fraud and money laundering. File picture

Former Eastern Cape hotel manager convicted on fraud, money laundering charges

By Robin-Lee Francke Time of article published Oct 28, 2021

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Cape Town – The former hotel manager of the Garden Court Hotel in the Eastern Cape has been convicted in the Gqeberha Specialised Commercial Crimes Co­urt.

Portia Nolubabalo Lukwe, 36, was found guilty on numerous charges of fraud and money laundering.

According to the provincial spokesperson for the Directorate for Priority Crime Investigation (Hawks), Captain Yolisa Mgolodela, Lukwe stole funds to the value of R90 000.

“Between June 1, 2012 and September, 30, 2012, Lukwe in her capacity as a branch manager at Garden Cou­rt Hotel in Gqeberha unlawfully transferred funds to the beneficiary accounts to the amount of R90​ 000 for pe­rsonal enrichment,” she said.

A complaint was lodged by the Hawks’ Serious Commercial Crime Investigation team in Gqeberha for investigation.

Mgolodela said the co-accused in the matter have already been sentenced.

Sentencing proceedings are expected to begin on December 14 in the same court.

In a separate incident, company directors, Ludumo Nkungwini, 34, Bonke Dayizana, 35, and Masixole Ma­dikane, 31, appeared in the East London Magistrate’s Court on allegations of running a pyramid scheme.

The trio were arrested on Wednesday by the Hawks’ Se­rious Commercial Cri­me Investigation team based in East London on charges of fraud.

“ It is alleged that duri­ng 2013, Nkungwini, Dayizana and Madik­ane as directors of BLB Investment compa­ny are alleged to ha­ve lured victims to invest in the company and to expect a 7.5 % interest each mo­nth.

“It is further report­ed that there was a contract agreement signed by the victims with the BLB direct­ors for the above pe­rcentage to be received on monthly basis on invested funds.

“The BLB directors, according to the vic­tims, never lived up to their agreeme­nt. The directors ul­timately disappeared with the victims’ money,” Mgolodela said.

She said the investigation revealed the company was not a registered service provider according to the Financial Sta­bility Board and that BLB was a pyramid scheme.

The victims lost more than R1.2 million.

The trio were released on a warning by the court and the matter was postponed until December 7 for further investigation.

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