South Africa News

Hawks arrest directors accused of claiming R10 million for 508 ghost workers

The Hawks in Germiston, east of Johannesburg, have swooped on three company directors who allegedly defrauded the Covid-19 Temporary Employer-Employee Relief Scheme (TERS) of approximately R10 million last year.

The Hawks had begun investigating Denmag Trading in March this year.

Between April and June 2020, the company allegedly applied for relief for 537 employees and were paid out R10 million. But in reality, Denmag only employed 29 staff.

Directors Levy Moremi, 36, Treasure Moremi, 34, and Anna Moremi, 33, then allegedly laundered the funds into various bank accounts.

Several transfers were made to Moremi and his other company, Best Enough Trading, Denmag administration officer Anna Moremi and her company SFM Trading Enterprise.

The rest of the money was used for vehicle purchases, including a truck and a minibus taxi.

The money was also used to buy land and other valuables.

The trio was apprehended on 7 October 2021 when warrants for their arrest were executed in Polokwane.

All purchases made with the R10 million have since been confiscated because they are deemed to be proceeds of crime.

The three appeared in the Polokwane Commercial Specialised Crimes Court and were granted bail between R5,000 to R10,000.

The matter will continue on 21 October at the Pretoria Commercial Specialised Crimes Court.

The Unemployment Insurance Fund’s (UIF’s) TERS is meant to assist businesses whose operations ceased or were disrupted during lockdown.

The UIF said it has more than a million outstanding claims on its TERS portal which stands to be closed by the end of December if claimants do not attend to the errors on their applications.

The Department of Employment and Labour believes a lot of outstanding claims, some dating back to March 2020, are not being attended to because they are fraudulent.

-The Citizen

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