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MANZINI – Customers who were allegedly given counterfeited notes by a Swazi MTN Mobile Money agent alerted the police, who later arrested him.

The accused, Ndumiso Lukhele (26) of Esibovu was later found in possession of R12 500 counterfeited notes which were allegedly hidden under his bed.

Lukhele appeared before Magistrate Lucia Lukhele after he was arrested and charged with contravening the Counterfeit Currency Order. 
In recorded statements submitted in court, after customers reported that they had been given the counterfeited notes, officers under the Fraud Department pounced on Lukhele who was at his Mobile Money centre, situated at the Bhunu Mall near First National Bank (FNB).

The officers are alleged to have ordered Lukhele to lead them to his vehicle so it could be searched.
During that process, some counterfeited South African notes were found in the car. Since it is police procedure to then search the suspect’s place of abode, officers under the Fraud Department ordered Lukhele to board their vehicle so his house could be searched too.

Upon arrival at the accused person’s house situated at KaHlobile, in Matsapha, the police allegedly found more money, R11 100 which in total amounted to the E12 500. The money had been allegedly hidden under the accused person’s bed.

Lukhele was arrested and during questioning, he said he had no idea the money was counterfeited.
He revealed that he was given the money by two South African men whom he had sold dagga to. Lukhele further revealed that he had met the two men at Solani’s.

“While at Solani’s, the two men paid me with the notes. They first gave me E2 000 to go and buy alcoholic beverages. Upon my return, they gave me my R12 500 and I went home not knowing that it was counterfeited.

“The following day I was informed by one of my customers that a R100 note was counterfeited. I did not use the rest of the money. I handed it all to the police, who later told me I have been arrested and charged,” Lukhele said in the statements.

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