Rustenburg man in court for allegedly orchestrating elaborate R1.5m investment scam
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RUSTENBURG: A 45-year-old man, accused of running an investment scam worth about R1.5 million, in Rustenburg, appeared in court on Wednesday, said the Hawks.
North West provincial spokesperson for the Hawks Captain Tlangelani Rikhotso said Thabo James Modau appeared in the Rustenburg Magistrate's Court, and was was released on R3 000 bail. The case was postponed to November 8 for investigation.
He is facing 38 charges of fraud and money laundering.
Modau was arrested by the Hawks’ Serious Commercial Crime Investigation team on Tuesday.
He allegedly lured investors into investing money in a company called Green fields, in 2014, promising them returns of 100% profit at the end of the investment term.
"The investors allegedly deposited the funds into his personal bank account, only for the company to vanish without a trace – before even paying out the funds and dividends as promised.
"Investigations went under way and the suspect was traced to Gauteng, where he was subsequently arrested," Captain Rikhotso said.
In a separate incident, four senior officials from the Northern Cape Department of Economic Development and Tourism are due to appear in Kimberley Magistrate’s Court soon, following their arrest on Wednesday, to face charges of fraud, and contravention of the Diamonds Act and Public Finance Management Act
Hawks spokesperson Lieutenant Colonel Philani Nkwalase said the charges were related to funding, surpassing R6.7 million, received from the European Union during the 2010/2011 financial year. The funds were intended for training students in cutting and polishing uncut (unpolished) diamonds.
The diamonds were bought in March 2011, from a private entity, without the necessary licences to buy rough diamonds. Consequently, these diamonds were stored at the premises of the same private entity.
It was established that the diamonds were missing and unaccounted for in July 2012. This was uncovered during a random inspection by the auditor-general,, said Nkwalase.