Joburg's forfeiture unit seizes assets worth over R23mil

Thursday, May 7, 2009

Pretoria - The Johannesburg Asset Forfeiture Unit (AFU) on Wednesday seized assets worth more than R23 million belonging to the former Salaries Accountant of Omnia Holdings (Pty) Ltd.

Danalutchmee Latchman, her husband and daughter were arrested and have been charged with fraud, theft and money laundering in the Johannesburg Specialised Commercial Crimes Court.

They are due to appear in court again on 23 June 2009.

According to the National Prosecuting Authority (NPA) the successful freezing of the assets was as the result of the joint initiatives of the Specialised Commercial Crimes Unit of the South African Police Service and the AFU.

"It is alleged that Ms Latchman stole funds to this value over a period of time from Omnia Holdings (Pty) Ltd," NPA spokesperson Tlali Tlali said.

She used her accounts and those of her immediate family members and their businesses to deposit the stolen funds, Mr Tlali confirmed.

According to the NPA, the defrauded monies were used to pay for personal expenses including bond accounts and to finance their liquor businesses in Lenasia, south of Johannesburg.

The assets placed under restraint include five fixed properties in Lenasia, three liquor businesses, being Zakes Liquor Wholesalers (Pty) Ltd, Zakes Disco and Zakes Liquor Depot (Pty) Ltd and Zakes Liquor Lenasia South (Pty) Ltd.

These also included 13 motor vehicles which include a SAAB motor vehicle, a Toyota Landcruiser, a Toyota RAV4 and a BMW 3-series.

Furthermore, 18 bank accounts and a sum of R650 000, which was used to pay for bail, was also restrained.

"Our agencies of State responsible for law enforcement remain vigilant and will make every effort to ensure that anyone who commits crime is not allowed to benefit from it," Mr Tlali said.

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