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UPDATED: Durban surgeon’s ex wife on the run for 2 years after allegedly stealing R3.5m from him

Published Jun 27, 2022

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The ex-wife of a Durban surgeon, who has been accused of stealing about R3.5 million from the doctor’s business account, remains at large for nearly 2 years, in spite of a nationwide and interpol search.

Raksha Rajkumar Pooran, 36, allegedly splurged some of her ill-gotten gains on the security guard she had an adulterous relationship with.

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Her then husband, Dr Pragandaran Moodley, a vascular surgeon, decided to beef up security at his palatial uMhlanga home, for the safety of Pooran as he worked long and irregular hours.

The couple divorced after the doctor discovered the irregular payments in 2018 and the infidelity, not before Pooran allegedly attempted to extort money from Moodley with threats of circulating salacious information about him.

It is believed that Pooran has since married the security guard.

Fraud, theft and extortion charges were then raised against her.

This week, her sister, Yashoda Rampersad, 33, of Pietermaritzburg, appeared briefly before magistrate Anand Maharaj at the Durban Regional Court, for similar charges as Pooran.

That’s because the State, led by advocate Kuveshni Pillay, believed that Rampersad was complicit in the matter as she had received various undue payouts totalling approximately R50 000 from Moodley’s business account, allegedly for the printing of business cards.

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The matter was adjourned to a date in July.

Pooran and Moodley married in 2013 and entered into an antenuptial contract, without accrual.

Moodley previously worked for the department of health before he went into private practice.

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He was the sole director of the company he set up and his practice was based in Westville.

The company also hired Pooran as she was a qualified vascular technician.

Given the absorbing nature of Moodley’s work, he asked his then wife to manage the practice.

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She was given full access to the business’ bank accounts, some of her duties included paying service providers and contractors.

For her duties, Moodley approved a R123 000 monthly salary for Pooran.

With Pooran on holiday in India with her mother during December 2018, having flown business class, Moodley attempted to access his business account to pay a particular bill.

That’s when he discovered that he had insufficient funds to effect the payment, which startled him because he had treated a large number of patients around that time.

When he did a two-month transaction history of the account, he noticed that various payments, allegedly made by Pooran, were for her personal benefit.

Moodley questioned Pooran about the transactions but she apparently became evasive and did not provide a plausible explanation.

He responded by hiring forensic, IT and accounting experts to investigate.

The investigation found more than 760 questionable bank transactions, totalling more than R3.5m, dating back to 2015.

It included repeat salary payments and increases for Pooran without authorisation, holidays, payment towards a private property she purchased, personal grooming and printing of business cards.

Moodley asked for the divorce, that’s when Pooran allegedly made her extortion attempt in January 2019.

According to the charge sheet Pooran threatened to “ruin” Moodley’s social standing with the “dirt” (numerous affairs and orgies) she had on him.

For her silence, she allegedly required Moodley to sign a divorce agreement that would provide her with a R4m payout and another demand was ownership of an ultrasound machine.

Moodley was granted the divorce unopposed.

With the Provincial Project Team tracking Pooran’s whereabouts, appeals were made by the SAPS for the public’s assistance, which was published in various media reports last month.

Police are already in possession of a J50 warrant of arrest for Pooran due to her failure to attend court appearances.

Her details have been circulated nationally and internationally.

SUNDAY TRIBUNE

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