Extra arrests anticipated within the R2.3bn VBS heist

The R2.Three-billion VBS Mutual Bank “heist” saga took an surprising flip when the prosecution introduced that extra folks could be arrested within the alleged looting scheme. 

These revelations emerged in the course of the look of seven of the defunct financial institution’s prime executives, who appeared on the specialised business crimes court docket sitting in Palmridge on Thursday. 

Prosecutor Hein van der Merwe requested for a postponement to permit the state to make extra arrests and amend the present cost sheet with further counts on prime of the 47 that exist already. 

The seven accused are former VBS chairperson Tshifhiwa Matodzi, former chief govt Andile Ramavhunga, former treasurer Phophi Mukhodobwane, former KPMG auditor Sipho Malaba, former VBS non-executive director Lieutenant Common Avhashoni Ramikosi in addition to Ernest Nesane and Paul Magula, who represented the Public Investment Corporation as non-executive administrators on the board. 

Prosecutor van der Merwe requested for a postponement to January within the matter of the seven accused as a result of “further members will probably be arrested, the cost sheet will probably be amended and a trial date will probably be set”.

He mentioned the copies of the brand new docket and cost sheet could be accomplished earlier than the top of the 12 months. 

“The disclosures will probably be performed earlier than the top of this 12 months. This consists of copies of the cost sheet and the docket. We’re at a sophisticated stage and we’re virtually able to formalise the brand new cost sheet,” van der Merwe mentioned.  

The seven accused indicated that they might plead not responsible to the costs of fraud, corruption, racketeering, theft and cash laundering ought to the counts make it to trial. 

The state has accused them of depleting the now-defunct mutual financial institution of virtually R2.Three-billion by allegedly falsifying VBS’s monetary statements for the fiscal 12 months ending March 2017, to point out that the enterprise was solvent when, in actual fact, it was not.

The indictment, which the National Prosecuting Authority (NPA) dubbed a “prosecutor-driven investigation”, detailed an intricate, two-year looting spree that ran from April 2016 to March 2018.

On Wednesday, Phillip Truter, VBS’s former chief monetary officer, was sentenced to 10 years, three of which have been suspended. He’s the primary senior govt to be sentenced within the VBS matter.

Matodzi, Ramavhunga, Truter and Mukhodobwane, in keeping with the indictment, allegedly stole R262-million in 12 days throughout March 2017, “by creating fictitious credit” in 35 VBS accounts. 

Attorneys for the accused agreed to the postponement on Thursday. All seven are out on R100 00zero bail every and are anticipated again in court docket in January for his or her third look.