South Africa News

2 suspects arrested for R34 million crypto scam

Two suspects charged with fraud and money laundering related to a crypto scam have appeared in the Lenasia Regional Court.

The suspects were handcuffed by the Hawks Serious Commercial Crime Investigation team in Johannesburg on Tuesday.

Hawks spokesperson Captain Ndivhuwo Mulamu says the investigation team executed a warrant of arrest against 57-year-old Zain Muhammed Valle and 25-year-old Michelle Bianca Bezuidenhout at their respective residence in Lenasia and Alberton.

“Their arrest emanated from the alleged cryptocurrency establishment scam where the complainant was lured to invest in Siyakhula Logistics Pty (LTD) in February 2020, with potentially lucrative dividends.”

“The complainant allegedly transferred approximately R34 million into the establishment and Bezuidenhout’s bank accounts, on different transactions,” said Mulamu.

Mulamu said Valle and Bezuidenhout joined 32-year-old Jarrod de Lange on the dock, who was arrested in 2020 by the Lenasia police for the same charges.

“Allegations are that Valle introduced the complainant to his business acquaintance, de Lange to enter into a partnership in the cryptocurrency establishment but the money was used for Liverage Trading company without the complainant’s consent.”

“Valle and Bezuidenhout were granted R10,000 bail each, whereas Bezuidenhout’s husband and co-accused, de Lange, was released on a R20,000 bail,” said Mulamu.

The case has been postponed to 19 July 2022 for legal representation.

Meanwhile, eight suspects aged between 29 and 49 have been arrested after they were caught with Eskom cables worth R2.5 million.

Police spokesperson Ndakhe Gwala say the suspects hijacked a truck transporting Eskom Aluminium overhead cables in Piketberg.

“Following an intense investigation and surveillance, the suspects were identified in Cape Town, which led to the identification of the storage place in Trafford Street, Blackheath. Today, the premises were searched and six rolls of aluminium cables were seized.”

The suspects appeared in the Blue Downs Magistrate’s Court on Wednesday on charges of possession of stolen goods, contravention of the Second Hand Goods Act and Contravening Infrastructure Criminal Amendment Act.

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