- Two people, including a convicted fraudster, have been arrested in connection with a government tender scam.
- The fraudster’s modus operandi was allegedly to convince the victim that he had been awarded a tender.
- The fraudster was arrested on the same day he was convicted in another fraud-related matter.
A convicted fraudster and his alleged accomplice have been arrested in connection with a Department of Water and Sanitation tender scam.
They were arrested after allegedly convincing the complainant in the case into believing that he had been awarded a tender to supply the department in Pretoria with 55 Zallex water pumps in May 2020.
The complainant was redirected to a Cape Town-based company, Abitex Top Traders, to supply him with the requested goods worth approximately R118 372.
According to Hawks spokesperson Captain Ndivhuwo Mulamu, the complainant transferred the money into the bank account provided on the invoice.
[When] the [complainant realised] that goods were not being delivered, he immediately reported the matter to the Hawks’ Serious Commercial Crime Investigation in Pretoria for further probing.
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Mulamu said convicted fraudster Richard Jjuuko, 48, allegedly convinced his co-accused, Lillian Raesibe Masilela, 53, to open a bank account for him and keep the bank card.
The card was used for the scam.
A warrant was issued for Jjuuko’s arrest after the complainant went to the Hawks. He was arrested and charged with fraud and money laundering in the Polokwane Specialised Commercial Crimes Court on 9 March 2022 on the same day he was convicted in another fraud-related matter.
Mulamu said Jjuuko’s conviction in the same court was related to fraud and money laundering charges committed in Douglasdale, Johannesburg, and Tzaneen, Limpopo. Jjuuko had pleaded guilty and was sentenced to five years’ imprisonment, suspended for two years, and a R30 000 fine or six years’ imprisonment.
He was arrested on 26 March 2021 for fraud and money laundering committed in Louis Trichardt and Polokwane involving over R943 000 in another tender scam. In 2018, he had lured the complainant in the case into transferring money into different bank accounts.
Mulamu said the complainant had suffered a loss of over R943 000 for the supply of low-pressure acetylene cylinders, Wayne sprinkler pumps and drill bits to the Department of Energy and Mineral Resources and the Department of Water and Sanitation.
All the products ordered from Cape Town-based registered companies Meco Engineering, Supreme Engineering and Eisen were not delivered, said Mulamu.
Jjuuko is expected back in court on 11 April 2022. He will be joined by Masilela.
“Masilela was also arrested and charged with fraud and money laundering on Thursday, 24 March at Mokopane in Limpopo,” added Mulamu.
She also appeared in court on Friday and was released on a warning pending investigations.
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