Bail for two Durban men accused of stealing R7 million from The Guardian’s Fund — monies meant for orphans

Prajeev Maharaj and Navin Ramsewak were released on bail Picture: File image

Prajeev Maharaj and Navin Ramsewak were released on bail Picture: File image

Published Feb 21, 2024


Two Durban men, who were arrested on allegations of fraud and the theft of over R7 million from The Guardian Fund, were released on R20,000 bail.

Prajeev Maharaj, 31, and Navin Ramsewak, 42, made their first appearance in the Pietermaritzburg Magistrate’s Court on Tuesday following their arrest by the Directorate for Priority Crimes Investigations (known as the Hawks).

The duo were nabbed in Durban on Monday, according to Hawks spokesperson Lieutenant Colonel Simphiwe Mhlongo.

The National Prosecuting Authority (NPA) in KwaZulu-Natal said both men along with the following companies Ridgeville Investments 2000 and LMJ General Trading Pty Ltd appeared in court.

“They appeared on charges of fraud, theft, and money laundering to the value of approximately R7.3 million,” NPA spokesperson Natasha Kara said.

“The State alleges that on April 6, 2023, unauthorised electronic transfers were made into the account of Ridgeville Investments 2000, in which Maharaj is a director, and LMJ General Trading Pty Ltd, in which Ramsewak is a signatory of the bank account of the company,” she said.

“The transfers were allegedly made from The Guardian’s Fund, which is a fund administered by the Master of the High Court and serves to receive and manage money on behalf of persons who are legally incapable or do not have that capacity to manage their own funds. This would include orphans and minors.”

Kara said as part of their bail conditions Maharaj and Ramsewak are expected to report to a police station twice a week, and inform the investigating officer should they wish to travel out of the province.

The NPA said the case was adjourned to April 25 for further investigations.

Mhlongo said more arrests were expected as the fraud amounting to a total of R17 million.

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