Hawks swoop on R10 million COVID-19 TERS 'fraudsters'

Friday, October 8, 2021

A Hawks’ Serious Corruption Investigation team in Germiston has swooped on three company directors who allegedly defrauded the COVID-19 Temporary Relief Scheme Fund (TERS) of about R10 million last year.

The trio were apprehended on Thursday when warrants for their arrest were executed in Polokwane following an investigation that started around March 2021, Hawks spokesperson, Brigadier Nomthandazo Mbambo, said in a statement.

“The probe uncovered that during the period from April until June 2020,  a company known as Denmag Trading directed by Levy Moremi (36), Treasure Moremi (34) and Anna Moremi (33) applied for the Unemployment Insurance Fund (UIF)TERS for its employees.” 

Mbambo said the company had about 29 personnel in its payroll, but the application made was for 537 employees.

“[This] means that the 508 employees were non-existent. The application was processed successfully and a sum of over R10-million was paid into the company's account wherein it was laundered into various bank accounts by the trio for self-gain.  

“Several transfers were made to Levy Moremi, his other company Best Enough Trading and to the company's Administration Officer, Anna Moremi and to her company, SFM Trading Enterprise and the money was utilized for purposes like buying a truck, mini bus and land as well as other valuables.”

She said all these had since been confiscated as they were deemed to be proceeds of crime.

The three appeared in the Polokwane Commercial Specialised Crimes Court sitting at the High Court on the same day. They were all granted bail ranging from R5 000 to R10 000.

The matter was remanded to 21 October 2021 where it will be heard in the Pretoria Commercial Specialised Crimes Court.

Gauteng Hawks head Major General Ebrahim Kadwa commended the Serious Corruption Investigation team for their professionalism in thoroughly investigating the PPE corruption related matter.

"The public is encouraged to report any suspicious PPE corruption and fraud related activities and be assured that the Hawks team is fully committed to tackle this scourge," he said. – SAnews.gov.za