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Molopo court grants bail to 18 accused of fraud and theft of TERS funds – SABC News

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Eighteen people appeared before the Molopa Magistrates’ Court in Mahikenga, North West, on charges of fraud related to the Department of Employment and Labour’s Temporary Employer Assistance Scheme.

The Hawks arrested two more suspects on Monday. It is alleged that in 2020, during the Covid-19 pandemic, three sole directors of different companies applied for TERS funds for 321 non-existent employees.

The accused are charged with three counts of fraud or theft. They were arrested in Gauteng and North West last Sunday and Monday respectively by members of the Hawks.

The accused is alleged to have defrauded the Ministry of Labor and Employment of R1.4 million.

The accused allegedly claimed that he had companies and employees. The money was allegedly deposited into their business accounts and then transferred to their personal accounts.

The court granted bail to the accused. National Prosecuting Authority (NPA) spokesperson Henry Mamatam says: “They are facing three separate charges of fraud or theft and have all been released on bail of between R5,000 and R10,000 as some of them appear on three charges.”

The court set certain bail conditions.

“The following conditions are imposed: every accused who has a valid passport immediately surrenders his passport to the investigator. The accused must stay away from the complainant or any other state witnesses the state may identify. Until the end of the case, the accused are under house arrest, in addition to being under house arrest, they are only allowed to go to work and come to court. Finally, each defendant must sign himself in at the nearest police station as directed by this court,” says Judge Duane Spandiel.

The case was adjourned to January 23, 2023 for further investigation and further arrests are expected.

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