Durban woman jailed for 7 years for R6.2m fraud

By Jolene Marriah-Maharaj Time of article published Jun 7, 2021

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Durban: A Durban woman who was convicted of fraud and forgery amounting to R6.2 million will spend 7 years behind bars.

Ashish Lata Ramgobin, 56, was sentenced in the Durban Specialised Commercial Crime Court and was refused leave to appeal both the conviction and sentence.

According to National Prosecuting Authority spokesperson in KZN, Natasha Kara, Ramgobin was convicted of fraud, forgery and uttering.

The court heard that in August 2015, Ramgobin met the director of New Africa Alliance Footwear Distributors.

The company, which is owned by a Mr Maharaj, is an importer, manufacturer and wholesaler of clothing, linen and footwear.

According to Kara, the company also partners with other companies on a profit-share basis when finance is needed.

“During her meeting, Ramgobin told Maharaj that she (via her company, Global Services) had imported three containers of linen for the NetCare group.

“She said she was experiencing financial difficulties to pay for import costs and customs and she needed the money to clear the goods at the harbour.

“She advised him that she needed R6.2 million. To convince him, she showed him what claimed to be a signed purchase order for the goods.

“In return for the loan, Ramgobin promised to pay back the total amount and give Maharaj a share of the profits, amounting to R1.5m.”

Maharaj agreed to lend her the money and they entered into a written agreement where he paid her two instalments of R1.3m each.

“Later that month, she sent him what seemed to be a NetCare invoice and delivery note as proof that the goods were delivered and payment was imminent. She further sent him confirmation from NetCare’s bank account that payment had been made.”

Kara said Maharaj soon discovered that Ramgobin did not have any purchase order with NetCare, nor did NetCare owe her any money. In fact, NetCare had absolutely no dealings with Ramgobin in this regard.

“All the documents provided by Ramgobin were forgeries. She was subsequently arrested.”

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