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Keywords: fraud, invoice fraud, electronic invoicing, einvoicing, e-invoicing, South Africa
Matthew Garrow-Fisher | News | 27 April 2012
An invoice fraud case involving the South African police has been put on hold as two accused men are granted bail.
Captain Aswin Narainpershad and businessman Thoshan Panday face charges of conspiracy to commit fraud, incitement to commit fraud and corruption after they were alleged to have offered R1m (£79,580) to a police officer to help them generate false invoices worth R15m.
Their case will not be heard until July 26th after Captain Narainpershad was granted R20,000 bail last week and Mr Panday paid R200,000 bail money.
Mr Panday was already out on bail regarding a separate case of corruption when it is believed he committed the invoice fraud.
The Duban-based businessman and Captain Narainpershad, a supply-chain management officer, allegedly bribed policeman Captain Kevin Stephen, who had worked for the public order policing unit, to create fake invoices for submission to the South African Police Service between December 2011 and March.
Captain Stephen had been responsible for arranging accommodation for staff deployed away from home.
On delivering his bail, magistrate Sharon Marks ordered Mr Panday not to communicate with the South African Police Service, or interfere with any police investigation.
He is facing four investigations regarding fraud and racketeering worth R60m during the time of the 2010 Fifa World Cup.
In an interview with local newspaper Daily News, Mr Panday said: "There are people who are determined they want to destroy me. But, to this day they are yet to produce a single stitch of evidence to implicate me in any of the three fraud and corruption charges being investigated."
He also called the allegation of invoice fraud as "crazy", claiming he has all of the invoices and receipts for the claims he made.
"They are authentic and valid. Why would I want to generate false invoices?" he told the news provider.
The case highlights the issues that can arise from paper invoicing. Invoices can be easily doctored and considerable time can pass before fraud is identified and raised.
e-Invoicing can be a more reliable payment method for businesses and eliminate these types of fraud. However, businesses must always remain alert to the challenges of e-invoicing as fraudsters adapt their methods to new technologies.
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