Gauteng Hawks’ head commends probe into debit order scam

In a statement, the Hawks said the duo handed themselves in at the Hawks’ Serious Commercial Crime Investigation in Johannesburg and were subsequently charged with fraud.


Devdiscourse News Desk | Pretoria | Updated: 10-05-2022 15:35 IST | Created: 10-05-2022 15:35 IST
Gauteng Hawks’ head commends probe into debit order scam
“On the same day, the pair appeared in the Palm Ridge Specialised Commercial Crimes Court and were each granted R30 000 bail,” said Hawks spokesperson Captain Ndivhuwo Mulamu. Image Credit: Twitter(@SAgovnews)
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Gauteng Hawks' head, Major General Ebrahim Kadwa, has commended the investigation team for successfully apprehending the additional alleged fraudsters involved in unauthorised debit order transactions where bank clients have lost approximately R18 million, collectively.

This as two additional accused, Ravenda Singh (50), and his son Andrew (26), Directors of a Durban based call-centre, Sub User, were nabbed on 4 May 2022, in Johannesburg.

In a statement, the Hawks said the duo handed themselves in at the Hawks' Serious Commercial Crime Investigation in Johannesburg and were subsequently charged with fraud.

"On the same day, the pair appeared in the Palm Ridge Specialised Commercial Crimes Court and were each granted R30 000 bail," said Hawks spokesperson Captain Ndivhuwo Mulamu.

She said the suspects were linked through a forensic investigation carried out by the banks, which discovered undue debit orders through the suspects' call-centre companies.

"The accused allegedly created fraudulent bank payment system to collect debit orders for call-centres which resulted to unauthorised debit orders. Numerous clients from several banks country-wide, reportedly lost their hard earned cash through the R99 debit order withdrawn fraudulently between November 2018 and February 2019," said Mulamu.

Their case was postponed to 27 May 2022, where they will be joining their co-accused, Jason Foster (39) and Richard Marsden (51), who were previously arrested and later released on R30 000 and R100 000 bail respectively.

Foster was arrested in February this year at OR Tambo International Airport whereas Marsden's apprehension was effected in October last year at the Cape Town International Airport. Foster and Marsden are also directors of the Durban based call-centre companies, Blue Debit and Talent Base.

The Hawks investigation revealed that the syndicate siphoned approximately R248 million from unsuspecting bank clients and transferred into different bank accounts allegedly linked to the syndicate.

Major General Kadwa applauded the investigation team together with the prosecution authorities for bringing the perpetrators to book.

"We sincerely sympathise with all the bank clients who became victims of the alleged fraudsters. We are also pleased that perpetrators are brought to book to account for their fraudulent activities. Communities are urged to report all suspicious criminal activities to authorities for further probing," he said.

(With Inputs from South African Government Press Release)

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