Tuesday, April 26, 2011

NEWSFLASH: South African Authorities Hire Forensic Accountants to Trace TVI Express Scam Money

New Age News Reports  ( http://www.thenewage.co.za/16342-1010-53-Pyramid_probe_goes_big )

Apr 26 2011 6:46AM

Chris Hlongwa

The South African Reserve Bank (Sarb) has broadened the net beyond KZN and the Eastern Cape in its investigations into the Travel Ventures International Express (TVI Express) “pyramid scheme”.

The Sarb probe initially focusing on the two provinces, has gained momentum with the appointment of well-known law firm Bowman Gilfillan Attorneys to lead the investigation.

TVI Express is a get-rich-quick scheme that promises to make people instant millionaires. But in its recent meetings, many investors complained of losing large amounts they had invested, including pensions and money borrowed from banks.

High profile showbiz personalities in KZN have been seen doing public presentations to promote the scheme, including using radio stations. These personalities include Alex Mthiyane, a popular DJ of Igagasi 99.5 FM radio station and presenter for the same station, Siya Mhlongo.

But investigators have discovered that the scheme is also operating in Johannesburg.

“It is not confined to one province. It seems we just scratched the surface. It is also here,” said a source in Johannesburg.

The New Age has also learnt that the legal firm has in turn mandated forensic investigators Thabani Zulu & Co Forensic Accounting Services, to assist them.

Thabani Zulu & Co were instrumental in bringing over 4000 charges against Goodman Goqo, the owner of Ingede Mineral Holdings, for the alleged theft of R73 million of investors’ funds. The trial is pending.

Explaining the involvement of forensic firm Thabani Zulu & Co, its senior manager, Lourens du Plessis, said: “In essence we are mandated to investigate TVI Express and related entities to determine whether they were acting in contravention of the Banks Act of 1990 (Act 94 of 1990).”

Du Plessis added: “We have also set up an e-mail facility as well as a telephonic number which people can contact to provide any information.”

The details are inspectors@tipoffsatwork.co.za and 0800 677 772. The investigators will soon be placing advertisements calling on affected investors and those with information to come forward.

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