Court grants KZN AFU R48.9m preservation order against Coinit Trading
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DURBAN - The Asset and Forfeiture Unit (AFU) in KwaZulu-Natal has obtained preservation orders to the value of R48.9 million against Coinit Trading, which has been flagged as a multi-million rand ponzi scheme.
The orders were granted by the Pietermaritzburg High Court.
The National Prosecuting Authority’s (NPA) Natasha Kara said the matter deals with the contravention of the Financial Advisory and Intermediary Act 37 of 2002 and the Banks Act 94 of 1990.
“The AFU was previously granted a preservation order worth R106 million for several of Coinit’s immovable properties and vehicles. The forfeited property included 11 pieces of land in Dundee, five aircrafts and a motor vehicle,” she said.
Coinit is accused of placing adverts in several websites and newspapers, asking people to invest with them.
Kara said as a result of the advertisements, a number of people deposited funds into Coinit’s bank accounts.
She said in terms of the Financial Advisory and Intermediary Act and the Banks Act, Coinit was not authorised to accept deposits from the investors.
“In the investment agreements with investors and as per the advertisement, Coinit advised that the money would be used by the company and its directors to purchase rigid trucks, older truck-horses, newer truck-horses, TLB’s, and other building plant materials,” Kara said.
However, the funds were allegedly used to purchase immovable properties, cars, aircrafts and shares in other companies.
The current preservation orders, granted in July 2021 and August 2021 respectively, relate to Coinit purchasing other assets such as a mining shaft, namely Joint shaft, and Wesselton Plant situated in Kimberly with a total value of R36m; a Cessina 175 Skyland aircraft valued at R550 000 and shares in Sikhova Environmental Building Solutions for R12m.
They also purchased immovable property in Danhauser valued at R310 000.
“The preservation orders prohibit any person with knowledge of its existence from dealing in any manner with the properties. Furthermore, it places the properties under the effect control of a curator bonis pending finalisation of the forfeiture applications,” Kara said.
She said this matter is indicative of the synchronised collaboration between the various units – the AFUt and the Specialised Commercial Crimes Unit – within the NPA successfully working together, as part of the prosecuting authority’s six-month priority plan.
Coinit was operated by Malcolm de Beer and his family. Some of the investors joined the scheme, believing that Malcolm had family ties with the giant De Beers Mining group.