Durban Bankers Behind Alleged Ponzi Scheme Face Extended Detention Amid Widening Fraud Investigation

Durban Bankers Behind Alleged Ponzi Scheme Face Extended Detention Amid Widening Fraud Investigation

The two Durban bankers, accused of orchestrating a multi-million rand Ponzi scheme that targeted pensioners and retirees across South Africa, will remain in jail for at least five more nights as their bail application faces postponement. Brandon Naicker, also known as Muruvan Egambaram, and Abraham “Jason” Pillay, appeared in the Pinetown Magistrate’s Court for a bail hearing related to charges of defrauding an investor of R2 million.

The duo, operating insurance brokerage firms named Infiniti and Branson Capital, respectively, is currently under investigation for defrauding numerous investors of over R180 million across approximately 160 cases. Senior State Prosecutor Joel Kisten informed the court of an amended charge sheet that now includes the companies Branson Capital and Infinitii. Additionally, six more charges, including theft and money laundering, have been added.

In a court revelation, Pillay, represented by Legal Aid, must prove eligibility for the service by passing the “means test” as a director of a company. He would need to submit bank records to establish qualification. Pillay expressed his inability to hire a private attorney and indicated a willingness to represent himself during the bail hearings. The case has been postponed until the following week, and both individuals have been remanded into custody.

IOL previously exposed the alleged fraudulent operation led by Naicker, who portrayed himself as a successful “serial entrepreneur” in the financial industry on social media. The scheme, suspected to be a vast Ponzi operation, primarily targeted retirees and pensioners, potentially totaling R180 million in fraud. Investigations revealed at least 160 individual cases, with victims including former educators, law enforcement officers, and entrepreneurs.

Naicker and Pillay attracted investors with the promise of high returns, with some enticed by monthly dividends of up to 3%. Despite the professional appearance of their online platforms, namely Infinitii and Branson Capital, the Financial Sector Conduct Authority (FSCA) has initiated a formal inquiry into their activities. The FSCA continues to warn the public against engaging with unregulated entities, emphasizing the prevalence of fraudulent schemes offering unrealistically high returns.


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