Convicted ex Crime Intelligence CFO ordered to make payment to the state

The Pretoria Regional court granted a confiscation order of R599 783 against the former Chief Financial Officer (CFO) of Crime Intelligence (CI), Major General Solomon Lazarus for his looting of the Secret Services Account (SSA) of the South African Police Service (SAPS).

The spokesperson of the Investigating Directorate Sindisiwe Seboka said Lazarus was found guilty of corruption and on 9 December 2020 sentenced to 10 years in prison for accepting undue gratifications during the period 2008 to 2011 to the value of R231 626.07.

“The regional magistrate, Adriaan Bekker presiding on both the criminal case and the asset forfeiture application, ordered a confiscation inquiry in terms of Section 18(1) of the Prevention of Organised Crime Act 121 of 1998 (POCA) on 9 December 2020,” Seboka said.

The SAPS have access to funds in the SSA to finance covert projects and investigations and operations and the service created a front company styled Universal Technical Enterprises CC (UTE), which was operated inter alia for the purchase of covert vehicles to be utilized in covert projects and CI investigations.

Seboka said Lazarus was also a member of UTE and that the funds used by UTE originated from the SAPS SSA, which were in turn generated from the state fiscus.

“Atlantis Motors was identified as a service provider for the purpose of buying vehicles to be used by CI. The motivation for the purchase of all vehicles and the expenditure had to be approved by Lazarus.

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“From the R64 million in transactions between UTE and Atlantis motors, money was transferred to a slush fund in the books of Atlantis Motors. Lazarus then used his position to purchase personal vehicles for his wife and his children. He also used the same coffers to pay a deposit in respect of his personal cars,” Seboka said.

Seboka further said that during a confiscation enquiry in March 2021, the ID argued that Lazarus received benefits totaling R1 242 132.31 from January 2008 to April 2012.

“This includes benefits received in respect of an ATV, a Kia Picanto, a Nissan Murano, a Honda CBR and a payment in respect of a scooter. The state also argued that the R1 291 326.09 represent historical values and that it should be expressed in current terms, namely R2 178 845.29.

“Mr Bekker found that Lazarus’ total benefit was R599 783, taking into consideration the consumer price index to determine their current value as calculated on 9 March 2021,” Seboka said.

The R599 783 is made up as follows:

1. The ATV: R 66 855

2. The Kia: R 107 000 25.3

3. The Murano: R381 243

4. The CBR: R 44 685

“Before this order was made, Lazarus appealed against his conviction and sentence and the prosecution team is finalizing the case record to take the appeal further. Lazarus remains on bail pending the appeal.”

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