A 43-year-old Boksburg woman has for 13 years lived a life many can only dream of – thanks to an ingenious scheme in which she managed to pay herself around R460-million.
The Directorate for Priority Crime Investigation, the Hawks, swooped on her home on Wednesday and seized millions of rands worth of jewellery and luxury cars and motorcycles.
According to Hawks spokesperson Captain Ndivhuwo Mulamu the woman was employed as an accountant with multi-national medical equipment supplier, Medtronic based in Midrand.
She was arrested on Wednesday, and is due to appear in the Johannesburg Specialised Commercial Crimes court on Friday on charges of fraud, theft and money laundering.
But how did she manage to steal nearly half a billion rand?
According to Mulamu the woman, who has not yet been named, duplicated payments to legitimate clients and service providers, paying money directly into her deceased husband’s bank account.
“The Hawks attached the suspect’s eleven luxurious vehicles, including three Range Rovers, a Porsche, and motorbikes, seven immovable properties with furniture and appliances, and jewellery worth over R12 million, which was emptied from five safes in the house,” Mulamu said.
The Times understands that the majority of the properties are in the same street in Boksburg.
“She is quite brilliant, actually,” a police officer close to the investigation said.
“In the one garage we found dozens of expensive luggage, all empty. They travelled the world.”
“It looks like they would wake up one morning and just decide to go to Mauritius and take their toothbrush and facecloth only. Then they would come back with this grand luggage filled with expensive stuff.”
After the woman resigned, the company’s new accountant picked up on a name for a client in the internal accounting system that the new person did not recognise. After a brief investigation it was found that the woman’s surname was the same as that of the account holder, her late husband.
The information was handed to the Hawks in October 2017.
According to Medtronic’s website, the various groups in the company made around $29-billion in revenue this year.
At current exchange rates of R13.49 to the dollar, the company made around R390-billion this year alone – which could explain why she managed to steal so much for so long without getting caught.