Home South Africa UIF welcomes arrest of accused in TERS COVID-19 fraud – SABC News

UIF welcomes arrest of accused in TERS COVID-19 fraud – SABC News

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The Unemployment Insurance Fund (UIF) has welcomed the arrest of 16 suspects accused of defrauding the TERS COVID-19 scheme of R2.2 million.

The suspects were detained in Gauteng and North West Province.

UIF Commissioner Teboha Maruping says: “It is a combination of employers and employees. We are waiting for new arrests. All of them will be charged with fraud. We are going to freeze all their accounts.”

If there are any accounts in their names, then we are going to freeze their accounts and seize their assets. If we can’t get those funds back, then they’ll go to jail and they’ll have to take steps to pay us back.”

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In June this year, the UIF said that 3.4 billion rand had been voluntarily repaid by employers who took advantage of the COVID-19 Temporary Relief for Employers and Employees (TERS) program.

The UIF said it had audited more than 14 billion rand that had been paid through TERS.

The first phase of the Follow-the-Money project revealed that several companies submitted fraudulent applications.

UIF communications director Mahasonke Buthelezi said more employers were expected to return excess funds.

“We found that there were claims in some cases where employers were overstating the wages they said their employees were earning in the three months before COVID-19. Some claimed that employees quit before COVID-19. For some, it was a pure mistake,” Buthelezi said.

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