Hawks arrest Pretoria pensioner for UIF COVID-19 relief scheme fraud

It is alleged that the man re-directed R4.6 million worth of UIF claims from his previous employer to his personal account.

Picture: @SAPoliceService/Twitter

JOHANNESBURG - The Hawks have arrested an elderly man in Hammanskraal, Pretoria who allegedly become “an instant millionaire” after fraudulently receiving money from the Unemployment Insurance Fund’s (UIF) COVID-19 Temporary Employer and Employee Relief Scheme (TERS).

Officers handcuffed the 62-year old pensioner on Sunday, and he is facing charges related to theft and money laundering.

This brings the number of people arrested linked to the UIF’s TERS to 14. Some of the suspects are out on bail.

It is alleged that the man re-directed R4.6 million worth of UIF claims from his previous employer to his personal account.

The man is expected to appear in the Pretoria Specialised Commercial Crime Court on Monday morning.

Hawks spokesperson Brigadier Hangwani Mulaudzi said that almost R100,000 had already been spent.

“The 62-year-old pensioner was arrested after he failed to disclose that he became an instant R4.7 millionaire, the money which was meant to remunerate employees of a certain company to be disclosed in court papers,” Mulaudzi said in a statement on Sunday.

He added: “It is understood the suspect worked for the same company and allegedly used the same reference number from his previous employer’s to apply for his UIF payout. It was later found after numerous inquiries by the company that the money was actually paid but was redirected to the suspect’s account.

“A case was registered and almost R4.6 million has already been recovered. He allegedly used almost R100,000 on himself.”

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