Suspect arrested for fraud, released on bail

A 63-year-old suspect who was arrested on charges of fraud was released on bail yesterday by the Middelburg Magistrates' Court.

Mr Desmond Joseph August Dione (63) was arrested by the Hawks Middelburg and Secunda-based Serious Commercial Crimes Investigation assisted by Metro tracing unit (Gauteng) on 18 May.

According to a media statement it is alleged that on 22 June 2015, the complainant received an email from the Department of Energy in Pretoria, requesting a quotation for 250kg turbo cutting discs of 235mm. The contact person mentioned was Miss Rachael Mashamba.

She then called Mashamba and asked her for the amount that she should quote. Mashamba told her she should make it less than R300 000. The complainant complied and sent quotation of an amount totalling R102 600.

The complainant found only one supplier that could supply the items. An order was placed with them and they sent her an invoice with the total amount of R102 600. On the invoice there was the company name, telephone number, banking details and the contact person indicated as Julia.

On 26 June 2015, she deposited an amount of R102 600 via EFT to a Nedbank bank account and the proof of deposit was sent.

The process of delivery of goods was delayed until delivered on 30 June 2015 at the Department of Energy and the supplier sent the complainant a delivery note via fax Between 1 July 2015 and 7 July 2015.

The complainant contacted the Department of Energy for the payment but the phone was always cut off and she could not get hold of Mashamba as she always did.

On 7 July 2015, complainant contacted the Department of Energy and she found Mrs Andriana Pretorius who informed her that they don’t order cutting discs and there is no Mashamba at Department of Energy. The complainant was financially prejudiced and suffered a loss amounting to R102 600.

The case was reported to the police and further transferred to the Hawks Middelburg-based Serious Commercial Crime Investigation for further investigation.

During investigation an account holder was linked to the crime. A J50 warrant of arrest was authorised and executed on Friday, 18 May.

• Mr Desmond Joseph August Dione appeared before the Middelburg Magistrates’ Court on Monday, 20 May for fraud. He was released on R3000 bail. The case was postponed to 3 June 2024. Investigation continues.

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