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Johannesburg produce market official arrested for R5.5 mln grift

A senior financial controller at the Johannesburg fresh produce market in City Deep has been arrested in connection with a R5.5 mln (€320,000) scam. Apparently, her accomplices have already fled overseas.

City of Joburg spokesperson Dudu Lushaba said the woman was apprehended on Monday. The police are on the trail of her accomplices, believed to be a work colleague and a friend. The woman will appear in the Johannesburg Commercial Crimes Court on charges of fraud. She is alleged to have worked with a colleague who was a compliance accountant at the market, and was authorized to administer buyers’ guarantees.

“The guarantees were loaded into a buyer’s card belonging to a deceased person without the required supporting documents from the bank,” Lushaba told The card was reactivated in October last year and loaded with R40,000 in guarantees. In March this year the guarantees were increased to R600,000 and then in July lifted again to R5.5m.

Allegedly, the pair worked with a third person who used the card to buy fruit and vegetables at the market, and then sold them off at discounted prices to various business owners. “The three suspects then pocketed the proceeds from the sales,” said Lushaba, adding that the compliance accountant and the buyer are believed to have fled the country.

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