New charge against Bay beach boss

Fernando Cain

Cops reopen criminal case after fresh evidence emerges

New evidence against suspended beach boss Fernando Cain has emerged, prompting police to reopen a criminal case against him and add a charge of fraud. This comes just weeks after the case against Cain was closed by the National Prosecuting Authority.

Police spokeswoman Colonel Priscilla Naidu confirmed yesterday that new evidence had been handed to detectives last week.

“We attained the new evidence after a meeting with the municipal investigators,” she said.

Cain was found guilty in an internal municipal hearing for falsifying documents and failing to declare that his family members owned a company to which he was giving business.

It later emerged that the NPA had ordered that the criminal investigation, launched in March, be closed as there was no prospect of a successful prosecution.

It was also discovered that the initial fraud charge was altered to one of transgression of the finance act regulation. That was closed due to a lack of evidence in the docket.

Naidu confirmed that the case under the finance act had been reopened and an additional charge of fraud added.

Humewood police detectives will meet the Hawks Commercial Crime Unit this week to decide whether the case will be sent to them for investigation and prosecution.

“They [Commercial Crime Unit] specialise in such cases so a meeting has been arranged for the coming week to determine if this case meets the criteria to take the docket,” Naidu said. The Commercial Crime Unit has its own dedicated prosecutors and detectives who specialise in white-collar crime, fraud and similar activities.

According to municipal documents, invoices totalling almost R200 000 and linked to contracts, along with quotations, were found on Cain’s computer.

The documents suggest that Cain was submitting quotations and invoices, created by him on his computer, to the NMBM for the purpose of generating payments for the companies involved.

Cain’s lawyer, Carolyn Ah Shene-Verdoorn, said they had not heard from the municipality regarding the outcome of disciplinary action against him.

“We cannot comment on an anticipated date thereof,” she said.

Asked about possible legal action, Ah Shene-Verdoorn said: “We are waiting for the matter to be finalised before we consider our options.”

City manager Johann Mettler said: “The internal disciplinary process is still in progress and the outcome date is not known at this stage.”

Mettler did not say when the process would be complete.

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