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Three accused released on bail after allegedly defrauding farmers R12m

File Picture: David Ritchie

File Picture: David Ritchie

Published May 10, 2022

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Pretoria - Three people accused of defrauding farmers of R12 million appeared at the Leeudoringstad Magistrate’s Court on Tuesday, where they were released on R2 000 bail each.

The NPA said Nardus Pienaar, 39, Barend Jacobus van Loggerenberg, 29, and Ansune Pienaar, 40, are facing two charges of fraud and money laundering, and contravention of the Tax Administration Act, to the value of R2.3m.

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North West NPA spokesperson Henry Mamothame said the farmers, who are clients of Suidwes Landbou, approached Ludi van Heerden, who is an internal auditor for the same entity, and they registered a complaint about fraudulent transactions in their accounts, on goods they have not purchased.

“Upon investigating, Van Heerden established that these transactions were done by Nardus Pienaar, who is the branch manager at the Leeudoringstad Suidwes branch.

“Pienaar would allegedly create fraudulent purchase orders, for fertilisers on various farmers’ production accounts. These orders would be generated after receiving instructions from Barend Jacobus van Loggerenberg, who is an agent for Agri Trade Noordwes (Pty) Ltd, a company that is also under investigation,” Mamothame said.

Mamothame said after these orders were placed, Agri Trade would send tax invoices to Suidwes for payment, and fraudulent delivery notes for fertiliser would be sent as proof of delivery to farmers.

“Investigations by Van Heerden further discovered that Pienaar was a director at Agri Trade and a financial representative, registered at FNB, for the same entity.

“It was also discovered that deposits into farmers’ accounts, were fraudulently done from van Loggerenberg’s bank account,” said Mamothame.

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Pienaar was also allegedly found to have done some transactions using his wife’s account. He also failed to pay VAT on the transactions he performed under Suidwes Landbou.

The three are expected back in court on July 5.

IOL

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