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Hawks probe fake garnishees; arrests to follow

Notable debt collector implicated.

JOHANNESBURG – A Hawks investigation into fraudulent garnishees has reached a “mature stage” with arrests expected soon.

This is according to Hawks spokesperson Captain Paul Ramoloko, and follows the implication of a second major debt collector, Draft Services, in the debacle.

Ramoloko said the unit is “confident that individuals will be identified who will have to take responsibility for this crime”.

Draft collects debt on behalf of notable unsecured lenders including Best Debt Finance and Letsatsi Loans Finance and is backed by Roodepoort based law firm, De Kooker Attorneys.

The Hawks investigation comes hot on the heals of a Moneyweb exposé, which revealed that court documents associated with garnishees secured by Syndicated Debt Collectors could not be retrieved by the Krugersdorp Magistrate’s Court.

Letters issued by the Krugersdorp Court subsequently stated that respective Syndicated garnishees “appear to be fraudulent” as “the matter does not exist and was not issued by the Magistrate’s Court”.

Draft was implicated after Hilton Dube, an audit team leader at Summit Garnishee Solutions, furnished Moneyweb with a host of similar court letters stating that Draft garnishees through Krugersdorp appear to be fraudulent.

Both Draft and Atlas have refused to comment in detail on the matter, stating that doing so might compromise the Hawks’ investigation.

Both entities maintain their innocence.

It remains unclear who is suspected to be at the heart of the fraud. However, Ramoloko did state that “Atlas is the source of our [the Hawks] information”.

Syndicated is the sole debt collections’ entity used by major lender Atlas Finance and is owned by Atlas CEO, Jack Halfon.

Halforn previously said that documentation provided to Atlas by Moneyweb had been passed on to the Hawks to inform its inquiry.

Summit’s Dube also alleges that Draft attempted to forge a letter on a Krugersdorp Magistrate’s Court letter head, in which it is stated that court files and case numbers related to Draft garnishees are valid case numbers of the court.

This letter was sent to Dube, by Draft CEO Morné Olivier in defence of allegations of fraud.

“We have this letter which they claim was sent by the court in which they state their files are valid … But when we took this up with the court they denied that the letter was authored by them,” Dube says.

Olivier has refused to comment on the matter stating “We deny any and all allegations against Draft. The Hawks are busy investigating the case and therefore we can’t and won’t say or do anything that could impede the investigation.”



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