Gautrain techie in court for attempted R800 million fraud

A former Gautrain Management Agency (GMA) employee was involved in two separate multi-million rand cases of fraud, the Johannesburg Special Commercial Crimes Court heard on Tuesday.

Prosecutor Richard Tshabalala said information technology technician Obakeng Israel Busang was allegedly involved in siphoning over R42 million from the PostBank in 2011.

“In a separate matter regarding the SA Post Office, the State will allege that during December 2011 to January 3, 2012, over R42m was transferred to at least 103 PostBank accounts. These accounts were opened in Gauteng, North West, Free State, Limpopo, and KwaZulu-Natal,” said Tshabalala.

A total of R265,000 was transferred to Busang’s bank account and withdrawn at various ATMs in January 2012, Tshabalala said.

Busang faces charges of fraud, corruption, money laundering, and contravention of the Electronic Communication and Transactions Act. He is applying for bail.

Busang allegedly colluded with a syndicate. In the GMA fraud case, the agency stood to lose R800m had the transactions been successful.

“The accused agreed to assist the syndicate to gain remote access to the GMA computer system,” Tshabalala said.

Busang allegedly connected his laptop to the GMA system, allowing him and the syndicate to harvest usernames and passwords of GMA staff.

“No actual transfers were made but login details of various staff was obtained.”

The Hawks and the GMA arrested Busang on November 12 at his home in Ga-Rankuwa, north of Pretoria.

The State is opposing bail. Tshabalala said Busang was a flight risk and had the propensity to commit further offences.

Update

Information technology technician Obakeng Israel Busang on Tuesday denied involvement in defrauding the SA Post Office and the Gautrain Management Agency (GMA).

“I intend pleading not guilty as I did not commit the offences, did not defraud or worked with anyone in order to do so,” NB Kwinana, for Busang, read from an affidavit on his behalf during an urgent bail application in the Johannesburg Specialised Commercial Crimes Court.

“I do not even have any spyware in my laptop to defraud Gautrain.”

Busang, 30, a former employee of the GMA, asked for R2000 bail.

He faces charges of fraud, corruption, money laundering, and contravention of the Electronic Communication and Transactions Act.

Earlier, the State alleged that Busang was also involved in siphoning off R42 million from the PostBank between December 2011 and January 2012. Money was transferred to 103 PostBank accounts opened in five provinces.

Prosecutor Richard Tshabalala said in the GMA case, Busang allegedly colluded with a syndicate to defraud the GMA.

The company stood to lose R800m had the transactions been successful.

Dressed in black tracksuit pants, sneakers, and a black jacket, Busang looked composed in the dock as he listened to Kwinana read out his affidavit.

He has two small children and lives with his father and siblings in Ga-Rankuwa, north of Pretoria.

Kwinana alleged her client was assaulted by police following his arrest and was forced to sign a blank page.

“Colonel Links put a blank page in front of me and told me to sign it, which I did while I was being assaulted.”

“I do not know the contents of the document… I did not freely and voluntarily make a statement.”

He said he was told that he was arrested because he was about to steal from the GMA.

He was suspended from work in early October and fired by the GMA on October 23.

“I was told that my laptop, which I handed to my cousin when I left, showed that I tried hacking into the system. I learnt that my cousin, who also works for Gautrain, handed the laptop to management,” he said.

Busang said he was unfairly dismissed and had since approached the CCMA to get his job back.

Regarding the PostBank, he said he never had a PostBank account.

“I don’t have a PostBank account. I once lost my ID document,” he said.

The Hawks and the GMA arrested Busang on November 12 at his home in Ga-Rankuwa.

The State is opposing bail.

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Gautrain techie in court for attempted R800 million fraud