Three other people are scheduled to appear Tuesday before the Palm Ridge Specialized Economic Crimes Court in Johannesburg in connection with R103 million stolen from Absa between September and December 2021.
The alleged mastermind of the crime, Xolela Masebeni, an IT specialist at Absa who allegedly siphoned funds from bank accounts, was shot dead in the Eastern Cape in February. He was out on bail at the time.
An investigation found that Masebeni accessed a company’s business account and transferred the funds.
Masebeni was arrested on January 19, 2019 by the Hawks arrested in Komani appeared in Queenstown Magistrates Court the next day. At the time, the National Law Enforcement Agency (NPA) said it had managed to recover R66 million.
The three who will stand trial on Tuesday – Sicelimpilo Sichwe, Phaphamani Sichwe and Sicelo Ndebele – have been arrested following analysis arrested Bank statements showing they were recipients of a vast sum of money from one of the accused, Melmoth-based traditional healer Khumbulani Elvis Ntombela.
The trio were arrested in KwaZulu-Natal and made their first appearance Court at Durban Central Magistrates’ Court, where they were remanded in custody to allow the matter to be referred to Palm Ridge Magistrates’ Court.
R103 million in fraudulent transactions were uncovered by Absa’s forensic department who reported this to the police.
Masebeni’s 20-year-old wife Athembile Mpani and the other defendants are said to have received large sums of the stolen money r.
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