Fraud suspect arrested as he attempts to flee SA after months on the run


Police have arrested a fugitive in Musina for alleged credit card fraud after he had been on the run from the authorities since January 2021.

Authorities swooped on Vusi Lukhele (28), after he was flushed out at the Beitbridge border post in Limpopo province at the weekend. 

Directorate for Priority Crime Investigation (Hawks) spokesperson Zinzi Hani said the suspect had allegedly committed credit card fraud in amounting to thousands of rands in a shopping mall located in the Western Cape province.

“This emanates from an alleged credit card fraud which occurred at the Outdoor Warehouse in Somerset West mall in October 2020 wherein the store almost lost just over R14000,” he said.

Fraud suspect was on the run for months

“The accused was initially arrested on 8 October 2020 by the Hawks’ Serious Commercial Crime Investigation team,” Hani said.

Hani said the fraud suspect had appeared in the local court and the matter was remanded to a later date but he had failed to appear in court on the second occasion.

“The court issued a warrant for his arrest on 19 January 2021. Lukhele was circulated as a wanted person which culminated in his recent arrest,” Hani said.

He appeared in the Musina Magistrate’s Court to face the charge of fraud on Monday 3 May 2021. 

“The case was remanded to 10 May 2021 and transferred to Cape Town for his follow-up appearance set for the Somerset West Magistrate’s Court,” Hani said.

Meanwhile in an unrelated fraud matter IOL reported that the Hawks had re-arrested a 25-year-old woman who was wanted for alleged fraud after she failed to appear in court.

IOL quoted the Mpumalanga Hawks as saying that Palesa Maje, 25, along with her boyfriend, Bongani Sibuyi, had started an entrepreneurship program at the Bushbuckridge municipality, in which they invited unemployed people to be part of the program and charged them R250 each. IOL reported that more than 350 “qualifying learners” had each deposited an “administration fee” of R250 into a bank account in the name of the couple’s unregistered business, however, the programme never took place.

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