Wed. Jul 24th, 2024

Florika Shenay Owusu, 31, and Abongile Tyusha, 30, have been sentenced by the Gqeberha Specialised Commercial Crimes Court for crimes they committed during their employment at Absa between November 2019 and June 2021.

Owusu and Tyusha received five-year sentences for fraud and theft, and 10-year sentences for money laundering. Four years of their money laundering sentences were suspended for five years, contingent on their adherence to the Organised Crime Act.

Provincial spokesperson for the Directorate for Priority Crimes Investigations (Hawks), Warrant Officer Ndiphiwe Mhlakuvana, detailed their roles and activities. Owusu, a consultant at the Patensie branch, and Tyusha, who was transferred to the Dutywa branch, were responsible for issuing bank cards and assisting clients with banking inquiries.

“The accused fraudulently opened bank accounts using the names of deceased individuals and foreign nationals without their knowledge. They issued debit cards for these accounts to facilitate fraudulent transfers and withdrawals,” Mhlakuvana explained.

“They reactivated 18 dormant accounts, primarily belonging to foreign passport holders and deceased South African citizens. They then withdrew the cash that was transferred fraudulently into accounts they had opened.”

At the time, Absa employees were prohibited from disclosing any client information without consent. The fraudulent transactions, executed in tranches, resulted in a loss of over R1 million for Absa.

Owusu and Tyusha’s criminal activities came to light following an internal audit at the bank, leading to their arrest and subsequent sentencing.

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