Bogus service provider arrested

Bogus service provider arrested
Bogus service provider arrested. Image source: Pixabay

A 44-year-old suspect is expected to appear before the Ladybrand Magistrates’ Court on Friday, 16 February 2024 where she will be facing charges of fraud, forgery, uttering and money laundering.

It is alleged that on 24 December 2020, the Budget Manager at Mantsopa Local Municipality received an electronic mail from a suspect who was pretending to be a service provider called Project Pioneer Construction requesting for an outstanding payment of R225 289.69 as stated on the fraudulent invoice that was mailed. The Budget Manager, knowing that there was indeed an outstanding amount of money to be paid to the service provider, requested permission from the Chief Financial Officer (CFO) to make the payment. The payment was granted and the money transferred to a bank account provided by the bogus service provider.

A few days later, the legitimate service provider approached the municipality and requested the outstanding payment. The Budget Manager then sent proof of payment to the service provider who realised that it was not their banking details and also queried the e-mail that was sent to the municipality by the bogus service provider. The municipality confirmed with the bank that they had paid money to the suspect.

The matter was then reported to the Hawks’ Serious Commercial Crime Investigation team based in Bethlehem for further investigation. A warrant of arrest was subsequently issued against the suspect. She was circulated as a wanted suspect. On 14 February 2024, the suspect was located and arrested in Pretoria by SAPS Detective Services based in Pretoria North and handed over to the Hawks to make her first appearance on Friday, 16 February 2024.

SAPS Newsroom