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Cape Town - A 62-year-old suspect is expected to appear in the Pretoria Specialised Commercial Crimes Court on Thursday for alleged fraud, money laundering and corruption amounting to R53 million, the Directorate for Priority Crime Investigation -- known as the Hawks -- said.

Hawks spokesperson Brigadier Hangwani Mulaudzi said the R53m was earmarked for the National Fund for Municipality Workers (NFMW) in the City of Tshwane.  

"The Hawks’ National Clean Audit Task Team (CATT) deployed in the City of Tshwane Municipality conducted a special operation on Wednesday and arrested the suspect for allegedly stealing the money from the City of Tshwane Municipality's bank account on 30 August 2019," he said.

"The team worked tirelessly upon receiving the case on 03 September 2019 and last month the team conducted a search and seizure operation at the suspect's business and residential addresses wherein several computers, cell phones and debit cards were seized. These exhibits provided more overwhelming evidence that proved that the suspect was part of a big criminal syndicate operating across provincial and international borders."

Mulaudzi said that through intensive investigations the team detected that the stolen funds were allegedly laundered into several businesses and relatives' bank accounts locally and internationally.  

He said their team successfully managed to seize and freeze several funds in certain accounts relating to the stolen R53 million.

"More arrest are to follow as the investigation by the task team continues."

National Hawks Head, Lieutenant General Godfrey Lebeya has welcomed the arrest.  

“I am satisfied with the speed with which the team has been able to handle this matter. This is the money that could have been used to deliver services to the people of Tshwane,” said Lebeya.

African News Agency (ANA)