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Picture: Pexels

Former SAPS colonel pleads guilty to 19 counts of fraud

By IOL Reporter Time of article published Jun 22, 2021

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Cape Town – A former SAPS colonel pleaded guilty at the Kimberley Regional Court today on 19 counts of fraud.

The 57-year-old Avril Christopher Wentzel, who worked as a provincial detective in Kimberley, Northern Cape, had submitted several fraudulent travel claims in 2014, the Hawks said in a statement.

He misused his state benefit of the Middle Management Service (MMS) scheme when he received an undue payment of approximately R47 000.

’’His abuse of the subsistence and travel allowance was uncovered in 2015, which prompted an in-depth probe by the Hawks’ Serious Corruption Investigation team into the fraudulent claims. On completion of the investigation, Wentzel was served with a summons in October 2019 to appear at the Kimberley Regional Court,’’ police said.

After pleading guilty to 19 counts of fraud, he was sentenced to a fine of R30 000 or 12 months’ imprisonment. Furthermore, an additional five years imprisonment, suspended for a period of five years on condition that he is not found guilty of fraud during the period of suspension, was imposed on him.

The national head of the Directorate for Priority Crime Investigation, Lieutenant-General Godfrey Lebeya, said: “I would like to commend the investigation team that conducted this investigation without fear, favour or prejudice.

’’It is unfortunate that a senior official who is a commissioned officer that has been bestowed on him by the State President, has succumbed to the temptation of looting the public purse.

’’May the honest serving members appreciate that crime does not pay and that those who betray their oath of office by committing crime will never go unpunished.”

IOL

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