Two men who appeared at the Pretoria Specialised Commercial Crimes Court were granted bail. A Kenyan national James Kamau Ngachu (63), is facing 30 counts of VAT fraud and 70 counts of money laundering to the value of more than R14 million and was granted R20 000 bail. While his co-accused Isaac Mhupheki Modibedi (42), was released on warning. Modibedi is the director of Mhlu Mining Suppliers PTY LTD which is one of the companies that were used to claim from SARS.

Modibedi is facing 4 counts of VAT fraud and money laundering to the value of R3 million. According to the Department of Home Affairs documents handed in court, Ngachu is also alleged to be illegal in the country since his Visa expired in August. However, it is alleged that a company Nicktech Electrical Appliances CC and Ngachu, who is a director of the company registered the company for VAT and fraudulently submitted claims worth over R75 000 to SARS, which were rejected. Thereafter, different companies also submitted claims to SARS worth R14million which was paid. It is alleged that upon receiving the payments, the different companies transferred more than 70% of the monies received from SARS immediately to Ngachus personal accounts and his company.

Two company directors namely, Ange Mamaremane Malope (38), of Manaremane Trading & Projects CC and Tebogo Ofentse Wadjah (40), of Dolphin Management Trading and Development have already appeared at the Pretoria Specialised Commercial Crimes Court, also facing charges of fraud, and money laundering was granted bail of R2 000 each and their case was remanded to 09 December 2022, for joinder of the accused.

In his affidavit, Ngachu asked to be released on bail, because he will not evade his trial as he has handed in his passport, and he also told the court that he applied in May 2022, to the DHA to have his visa renewed. When opposing his bail application, Adv. Mohlaka told the court that Ngachu is facing a schedule 5 offence and he might evade trial because of how unreliable he was on the day of his arrest and that he owns properties in Kenya.

The magistrate ruled that the circumstances in which the accused is deemed to be unreliable are mere speculations, hence granting him bail with no bail conditions. More company directors are expected to appear in court about the same matter. This matter was postponed to 09 December 2022, to join all accused in court.

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