NPANews24 reports that the Gauteng High Court in Pretoria has declared that R111m in the frozen bank accounts of Hammanskraal businessman Thabo Abel Simbini be forfeited to the State.

The National Prosecuting Authority (NPA) said the forfeiture order that the court issued on Tuesday followed a successful preservation order it obtained last year in terms of the Prevention of Organised Crime Act on the basis that the funds constituted the proceeds of crime. According to the NPA, Simbini, through his business Impossible Services, defrauded the UIF by claiming he had to lay off more than 6,000 employees because of Covid-19. The NPA said the recovered funds would be paid back to the UIF. Simbini is also facing charges of corruption in a matter before the Pretoria Specialised Commercial Crime Court. He was arrested in 2020 during an undercover operation by the Hawks after he allegedly tried to bribe an UIF official for the release of the stolen UIF funds. He paid the UIF official a bribe of R10,000 and was arrested during a sting operation by members of the DPCI. The matter has been postponed to 1 February 2022.

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