Couple in court for swindling resident out of R12m business 'deal'

Couple in court for swindling resident out of R12m business 'deal'

Durban - A husband and wife, accused of defrauding a person out of R12 million, have been released on R5000 bail each and are due back in court in April. 

Spokesperson for the Directorate of Priority Crime (Hawks), Captain Simphiwe Mhlongo, said Riaz Rasool and his wife Emmashnie appeared briefly in the Durban Specialised Commercial Crime Court on Tuesday. They face a charge of fraud. 

"The couple, aged 40 and 39, allegedly defrauded the complainant an amount of R12 million by luring him to fund their business. The accused misled the complainant with fraudulent tender documents.  They allegedly claimed that they were awarded a R32 million tender by the eThekwini Municipality to supply goods. They promised him lucrative returns on the tender, however, it was later discovered that there was no tender awarded to them," Mhlongo said. 

He said the couple were granted bail and are expected back in court on April 9 pending further investigations.

Last week, Sachin and Chantal Sewpersad pleaded guilty to  multiple charges including fraud, theft, and money-laundering last year.

According to National Prosecuting Authority spokesperson, Natasha Kara, the couple defrauded several people of approximately R10 500 000 between 2016 and 2017.

She said in October last year, Sachin pleaded guilty to 29 counts of Fraud, four counts of theft and 29 counts of contravening the Attorneys Act.

"In committing some of the offences, the accused purported to be an attorney/conveyancer and convinced the complainants that he had the permission to sell certain properties in Phoenix and Umhlanga. He told them that their payments to him would facilitate the transfer of ownership of these properties to them. However, these properties were not for sale, nor did the accused have any consent to advertise or sell them," Kara said. 

She said Chantal pleaded guilty to five counts of money laundering.

Director of Public Prosecutions in Kwa-Zulu Natal, Advocate Elaine Zungu welcomed the sentence. 

The Mercury