Article by: Jabu Dhludhlu
Hawks have arrested VBS ‘kingpin’ Tshifhiwa Matodzi and other directors in an early morning raid on Wednesday.
This afternoon the NPA and the HAWKS held a media briefing on progress on investigations into the Venda Building Society Mutual Bank which was founded in 1982 as a Building Society and became a Mutual Bank in 1992.
A coordinated multi-province search and seizure opertaion was undertaken by the hawks, which lead to the arrest of four suspects implicated in the collapse of VBS Bank.
- former chairperson of VBS Mutual Bank and its shareholder Vele Investments, is the alleged kingpin behind R2-billion theft of the bank’s funds.
- Others expected to be arrested include former senior VBS and Vele executives Andile Ramavhunga, Phophi Mukhodobwane, Phillip Truter and Robert Madzonga.
Three other suspects are expected to hand themselves over to the police today and the other 8 suspects, have not yet been apprehended as they have been reported to be affected by COVID19.
The 8 suspects unduly benefited, directly or indirectly from VBS Bank fraud, as more than R122million was paid to them. They will also be faced with charges including racketeering, theft, fraud, corruption and money laundering.
NDPP Adv Shamila Batohi: We can only turn the tide against corruption if those who commit these crimes are arrested, convicted and sentenced. The greatest deterrent to crime is the certainty that they will be a thorough investigation, prosecution and consequences #VBS— @SAgovnews (@SAgovnews) June 17, 2020
National Head of the Directorate for Priority Crime Investigation Lieutenant General Godfrey Lebeya said the DPCI has been working on this matter since August 2018.
Lebeya confirmed that the suspects will be charged with 47 counts of various criminal offences. He said these offenses are 5 counts of a pattern of racketeering activities, 12 for theft, common law offence, 7 for fraud, 15 counts for corruption & 7 counts are for money laundering.
The DPCI has been working on this matter since the August 2018 as an inquiry and was converted into a docket in May 2019. It investigated the conglomerate of offences with the guidance of the National Prosecuting Authority. Thus, it was decided to charge the suspects with forty-seven (47) counts of various criminal offences.
The investigation has revealed that the 8 suspects either unduly directly or indirectly benefited more than R120mil. The investigation revealed that 20 municipalities deposited an amount of R3.7bln of which R2.2bln was paid back.
He said that the investigation revealed that as on 11 March 2018 there was a general deficiency in the monies received by VBS Bank which amounted to more than R2.2bln.
The scam was hashed on the 4 July 2017 when the board of directors for VBS approved financial statements for the financial year ending on 31 March 2017 making VBS look richer while it was in fact insolvent
NDPP Adv Shamila Batohi: Whilst today’s developments are an important milestone…a lot of work lies ahead. Although it is imperative that we move with speed to finalise these matters, the team has to be meticulous and go through all the evidence with a fine tooth comb #VBS— @SAgovnews (@SAgovnews) June 17, 2020
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