Pensioner arrested for theft of R1.7 million from UIF fund

This brings the number of people arrested for TERS fund-related fraud to 14

According to various news reports, a 62-year-old pensioner from Hammanskraal has been arrested for alleged fraud and theft and after he allegedly received R4.7 million from the Unemployment Insurance Fund’s (UIF) Covid-19 Temporary Employer/Employee Relief Scheme (TERS).

This brings the number of people arrested for TERS fund-related fraud to 14

In a statement, the Hawks said the pensioner will be charged with fraud, alternatively theft and money laundering.

“The 62-year-old pensioner was arrested after he failed to disclose that he became an instant millionaire. The money was meant to remunerate employees of a certain company to be disclosed in court papers,” the Hawks said, adding that they suspect the individual worked for the same company and allegedly used the same reference number from his previous employer to apply for his UIF payout.

It was later found after numerous enquiries by the company that the money was actually paid but was redirected to the suspect’s account.  

A case was registered and after R100,000 had allegedly already been spent the almost R4.6 million has been recovered.

Meanwhile, in a separate case, the five suspects accused of stealing R5.6 million from the UIF COVID – 19 Relief Fund in May this year have appeared in the Pretoria Specialised Commercial Crimes Court on Monday.

Tshepang Howard Phohole (25), Taetso Zulu (22), Tsietsi Godfrey Mojela (68), Itumeleng Charlene Maseko (39) and Tebogo Andries Nchimane Maseko (40). The sixth accused is a company, Dilsfinest Cafe (PTY) Ltd which is a juristic person represented by Tebogo Andries Nchimane Maseko.

The six were charged with 30 counts which include a count of fraud and or an alternative count of theft, as well as 28 counts of money laundering involving R5 688 377.60 of UIF Covid-19 relief fund which was allegedly stolen from the Department of Labour.

The arrest and appearance in court of the six suspects follows an intensive investigation into the case which was registered at Brooklyn SAPS relating to the Unemployment Insurance COVID 19 relief fund. The suspects were traced and arrested at the various residences in 
Soshanguve, Atteridgeville and Mamelodi on Saturday morning.

Five vehicles including an Evoque were recovered from the scenes as well as other items suspected to have been bought with the monies which were not meant for the suspects.  The suspects' bail was set at R5000 each and their case was postponed to 07 September 2020.