The Cape Navigator

Seaside Community Newspaper

Crime, Mpumalanga, Nelspruit

Ten Family Members Face Fraud, Theft, Money Laundering Charges

Michael Hawthorne

NELSPRUIT, MPUMALANGA – Ten members of a family appeared in the Nelspruit Magistrates Court on February 21st, 2024, facing charges of fraud, theft, and money laundering. The accused are Carol Ann Avent (51), Ian John Avent (57), Lucy Andrea Du Preez (54), Maria Antoinette Le Roux (53), Kerry Ann Avent (36), Jaco Meinties (48), Pieter Albertus Meintjies (40), Annechelay Charlene Meintjies (28), Dina Petro Du Preez (33), and Maritz Vernon De Preez (27).

According to the Hawks Nelspruit-based Serious Commercial Crime Investigation unit, the primary accused, Carol Ann Avent, allegedly misappropriated R11.5 million while working as a financial administrator for Trans Collection cc in Nelspruit in 2016. It is claimed that Avent abused her unique access to the company’s accounts and made large transfers from the company’s Nedbank business account to her family members’ accounts.

The investigation was concluded in 2019, resulting in the initial arrest of all ten individuals. While the case was poised for trial in the Specialised Commercial Crime Court, it was provisionally withdrawn due to outstanding administrative issues.

The case was recently re-allocated; summonses were issued, and the accused were brought back before the Nelspruit Magistrates Court on Wednesday, February 21st, 2024. The case has been postponed to April 19th, 2024, to allow for the tracing of any additional suspects and preparation for the transfer of the case to the Specialised Commercial Crime Court.

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