We recently saw the recent developments made by investigations conducted by law firm Bowmans and the Special Investigating Unit (SIU) relating to dodgy tenders at Eskom over the past 10 years resulting in a R178 billion graft. The investigations found a slush fund created by former executives where they had monies paid for various aspects of their lives. One of the cases involves a company named Tubular construction which supplied services to Eskom over contracts worth R1,2 billion and a multinational company called Babinatlou Business Solutions which also received millions. How are monies located and traced? Joining us to discuss this is Investigator at IRS Forensic Investigators, Chad Thomas.
Bitcoin’s price rocketed more than eleven-fold to break past the barrier of $60 000 (R896 000) from a low of $5 300 during the Covid-19 financial crisis.
The currency, however, decreased in value to $56 000 on Monday.
This follows the downfall of various schemes claiming to trade in cryptocurrencies. The most recent is the application to liquidate MTI. It is said that about 100 000 South African and international investors will lose R6 billion after the CEO of MTI, Johann Steynberg allegedly fled to Brazil in December last year, never to be seen again, since then.
Apparently Steynberg is the only one with access to the investments. MTI was provisionally liquidated after Steynberg disappeared and it will hear at the end of May whether the company will be put under final liquidation, which created scepticism under some investors.
But the latest increase caused even sceptics to look with renewed interest to the cryptocurrency.
Despite Monday’s pullback, many investors believe the outlook for Bitcoin’s price remains tilted to the upside.
However, investors should really be careful, cautions private forensic investigator, Chad Thomas.
According to Thomas the digital nature of Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies makes it the ideal product for conmen and scammers.
The currency cannot be regulated through financial statements and other measures that protects investors against losing their money in other investments, Thomas told Izak du Plessis. Watch the video.
Hundreds of residents in the Garden Route towns of Knysna and Mossel Bay in the Western Cape have been duped out of their life savings and pensions in an alleged cryptocurrency investment scam. The victims could have lost as much as R5 million. Criminal cases have been opened against the alleged fraudsters, who have since fled the area. A private investigating company found that they operated in the Eastern Cape before making their way to the Garden Route.
Chad Thomas, a security analyst from IRS Forensic Investigations, said South Africans should brace themselves for an increase in crime during load shedding. Thomas’s warning comes after Eskom announced a continuation of level 2 load shedding for the rest of the week.
According to Thomas contact crimes always increase during times of a big power outage. These crimes include theft out of cars during traffic congestion due to traffic lights not operational. Rape, assault and robbery are also significantly higher during load shedding.
“People living and working in high density areas tend to be the victims of these type of contact crimes,” Thomas said.
In suburban areas people should be on the lookout for house robbers, especially after a long period of power outage. Thomas said load shedding is putting a huge strain on the batteries of alarm systems, electronic gates and electric fencing, especially when it occurs two to three times a day. The battery will deteriorate quicker than normal.
“This gives criminals the perfect opportunity to rob a house, knowing they won’t be bothered by a security company due to an alarm that went off.” Thomas said.
Thomas said to Izak du Plessis there are various steps people can take to reduce the risk of becoming a victim during load shedding. Watch the interview to find out how you can safeguard yourself.
It’s estimated that a master conman and his accomplices may have conned as much as R500-million out of over 300 victims in what’s been described as one of the biggest litigation funding schemes ever, in South Africa. And from being bullied at high school to being a charismatic daredevil behind the wheel of her pink BMW, Stacey Lee May has wormed her way into the hearts of the South African motorsport fraternity.
We investigate criminology in this episode of 48hours. Thaloki is interested in a career in Forensic Fraud. 48 Hours introduces her to forensic investigator Lauren who shows her how to put a case file together. Entrepreneur Chad shows her the opportunities available in forensic fraud.
Great episode of 48 hours on SABC TV, first featuring an IRS employee mentoring a prospective investigator, and then an IRS director explains the role of the private investigation industry.