‘Terrorists raise money in SA’

Millions of rand stolen from local businesses could end up in hands of terrorists, warns Werksmans attorney Berhard Hotz.

He was speaking in Sandton on Wednesday. Hotz investigates white collar crime and commercial fraud.

He said money that had been stolen from a South African company had landed up in the hands of terrorists at least once. “There is a lack of intelligence,” he said.

He knew of two fake NGOs, previously based in South Africa, who raised money for “orphans” but the money was instead sent to Islamic terror organisations in the Middle East.

International anti-terrorism organisations had detected that the sale of diamonds funded the global arms trade and would continue to do so as diamonds were predicted to grow in value.

Hotz argued that mining for diamonds in South Africa, could provide a legitimate “veneer” for terrorist organisations to make money to fund operations, he said.

Additionally. Hotz knew of secret organisations that transferred money from South Africa to Somalia, using passwords, and leaving no paper trail.

He said good IT systems prevented hacking of data. There are Eastern European syndicates in Ukraine, stealing data with very sophisticated software.