Najwa in court for fraud

Reporter: Vania van der Heever (Die Burger)

Cape Town – Twelve heavily-armed prison guards and police officials filled the court gallery on Wednesday when Najwa Petersen appeared in the Wynberg Magistrate’s Court. Petersen, who is serving a 28-year jail sentence at the Worcester prison for the murder of her husband, artist Taliep Petersen, is now facing charges of fraud. Her eldest son, Achmat Gamaldien, was in court to support her on Wednesday. Her court appearance was related to an insurance claim of R67000 that she made after Taliep’s death with the insurance company South African Eagle (also known as Zurich SA).

Insurance payout

She allegedly claimed for cellphones, digital cameras, jewellery, watches and money that were stolen during the murder. According to the charge sheet, petersen received R35000 from the insurance company. Magistrate Heather Paulse asked the State prosecutor why there were so many heavily armed officials in her court. “Lieutenant colonel Joe Dryden heard rumours,” answere Charlean Oliver for the State. She did not elaborate. Olivier said the fraud case had been referred to the national prosecuting authority (NPA), which had decided to prosecute Petersen. Reaz Khan, who was appearing for Petersen, said the defence was waiting for more information but was ready for a trial date. The case was postponed to August 25.

Man charged for cloned cards

News24 – SAPA

Cape Town – A Benoni man who allegedly used a cloned credit card to reserve holiday accommodation in Cape Town for his family will face 44 criminal charges in the Bellville Specialised Commercial Crime Court. Khaisher Nadoo, 27, of Lakefield East in Benoni made his second appearance in the Bellville Commercial Crime Court in the Western Cape on Monday. The case was postponed to July 19 for plea and trial at the request of defence attorney Keith Gess. Nigerian Abbey Johnson, 49, was in the dock with Naidoo. They were arrested in June last year.

Stayed at guest house

According to the charge sheet, Naidoo booked accommodation for two weeks in April last year, for himself, his wife and child, at the African Fiesta guest house in Cape Town. He is alleged to have used a cloned credit card to pay the R12350 accommodation bill. The charge sheet says he arrived at the guest house on April 17, then tried to extend his own visit for six months – again with the use of a cloned credit card. It seems his luck ran out when the second credit card transaction was declined. According to the charge sheet, he then offered to pay cash for his extended stay, but a subsequent query from Absa Bank concerning the first transaction, brought an unexpected visit to his room by the hotel’s manager, an Absa offical and the Police. Naidoo, his wife, Nepheritie, Johnson and a friend, Godwin Alushini were arrested.

10 cloned cards

At their first appearance in the commercial crime court on February 1, charges against Naidoo’s wife and Alushini were withdrawn. The charge sheet allges that Naidoo had 10 cloned credit cards in his possession at the time of his arrest, and Johnson had three, as well as a fake Cameroonian ID document with Johnson’s photograph on it. They face multiple fraud and forgery charges, as well as one involving a conspiracy to commit fraud, theft, forgery and uttering.

Malaysian loan sharks hit SA

Fin24 – SAPA

Cape Town – Malaysian loan sharks forced Malaysian money borrowers to fly to South Africa to buy items with cloned credit cards, the Bellville Specialised Commercial Crime Court heard on Monday. Before Magistrate Amrith Chabillal were Low Soon Seng, 30, who pleaded guilty to a charge of conspiracy to commit fraud, and Moh Yens Kit, also 30, and Liew Weng Heng, 41, both of whom also pleaded guilty to the conspliracy charge, as well as fraud. Defence attorney Keith Gess told the court Kit and Heng had struggled to repay loans given them at excessive interest rates, and had been under “severe pressure from the loan sharks”. Because Kit and Heng were unable to speak English, they had persuaded their friend Seng, who could speak English, to accompany them, on the understanding that Seng would only get free hotel accommodation and a free return flight to South Africa, but no payment, for the venture. Seng had seen the venture as a free trip to a foreign country. Prosecutor Simon Leope told the court the three had arrived in South Africa on May 20. According to Gess, they had gone to a jewellery shop at the Canal Walk mall on the N1 highway the very next day, where Kit and Heng each bought an Omega wrist watch worth a total of R88000 with the forged cards. Gess said the three were arrested the same day in a taxi, but had left the watches in the vehicle. They had been unable to track down the taxi operator to recover the watches, Gess said. Gess said Kit was an unemployed hospital chef, and that Seng’s electrical business in Malaysia, and Heng’s flooring business, had been hard-hit by the recession, rendering them unable to repay their loans. The men are to be sentenced on October 13.