CompliNEWS | Financial Service Intelligence Watch

Financial Intelligence Centre (FIC) recovers R1.8bn criminal assets

The Financial Intelligence Centre has assisted in the recovery of criminal assets amounting to R1.8bn linked to Covid-19 and PPE fraud, reports the Cape Argus. They have secured 113 cases, with 47 prosecutions and finalised 44 convictions. Last week, Sipho Mapalala appeared before the Nelspruit Commercial Crimes Court and is accused of corruption and bribery of an SIU Investigator worth R50 000.

The case has been postponed to 5 April 2023 for sentencing. He is believed to have attempted to make a Covid-19 procurement investigation against Gugu Bulungu disappear. In a separate matter, Nachy Britz, her husband, Gerhardus Britz, and her father, Hendrick Grimbeek, were arrested by the Hawks recently and appeared in the Simon’s Town Magistrate’s Court on six counts of fraud. The state intends to prove the trio misled a complainant to purchase PPE, indicating that Nacht Britz was a legitimate supplier of PPE worth R6.8m.

One of the biggest PPE cases involved four SANDF members who are facing allegations related to PPE fraud and corruption to the tune of R273m. In a statement, the Financial Intelligence Centre spoke of one of its recent cases where it managed to secure a conviction and sentencing of an accountant involved in Covid-19 TERS fraud.

‘A recent example is the sentencing of Mark Jonathan Vorster earlier this month in the Pretoria Specialised Commercial Crimes Court. Vorster is serving six years’ imprisonment for 11 counts of fraud, two years for theft and four years for laundering more than R800 000 of the government’s Unemployment Insurance Fund Temporary Employer/Employee Relief Scheme. Vorster, a self-employed chartered accountant, will serve his sentences concurrently.’

Read the full Cape Argus report here