Businessman accused of R6.8m swindle barred from leaving SA for birthday party
A Dutch businessman accused of duping a bank to give him a R6.8m loan using a four-star guest house as security has failed to convince the high court to allow him to attend his daughter’s birthday party in the Netherlands.
Martin Korver, 55, faces charges ranging from theft to fraud and money laundering in the specialised commercial crime court in Bellville. He appealed for a relaxation in his bail conditions to the high court in Cape Town.
Korver told the high court he wants to travel to is home country to “visit his elderly parents and one of his daughters who is currently living there”.
His bail conditions prevent him travelling outside the Western Cape and Eastern Cape without notifying the investigating officer. He also had to surrender his travel documents.
Korver told the court he has lived in SA for 27 years and has been married to a South African since 2008. Denying Korver’s bail appeal on Friday, Judge Ashley Binns-Ward said:
“One of the primary motivations given in support of the application was the alleged desirability that [he] should be able to be with one of his daughters by a previous marriage when she celebrated her 21st birthday, which he regarded to represent her coming of age. “That milestone had already been passed however by the time the application was decided. The other was that he should be able to visit his elderly parents,” the judgment reads.
Korver, who lives in Plettenberg Bay, was a director of a company, Cobow, that owns Albourne Guest House in Somerset West.
He controlled the “financial and banking affairs” of the company before he resigned in 2016. That was after he opened a “call deposit account” on behalf of the company with Investec Bank in Mauritius and obtained a R6.8m loan.
His co-directors, Gustav Schaefer and Jan Eberhard Schliemann, said they were not aware of Korver’s intentions and the fact that the account was linked to his personal account.
“[Schaefer and Schliemann] had no knowledge of the loan account that was opened nor of the loan agreement that was entered into between [Korver] on behalf of Korevest and Investec Bank Mauritius,” the charge sheet reads.
According to charge sheet, Korver used false documentation to open the account. “Hence, [Korver] misrepresented to Investec Bank Mauritius that he had the necessary authority to enter into this agreement on behalf of the aforesaid entities, by supplying forged documents to the bank.”
He is also accused of instructing a law firm to register a mortgage bond over the guest house in “favour of Investec Bank Mauritius in order to secure the said loan”.
Korver, who is the sole director of Korevest Leisure, a company registered in the Netherlands “with an affiliated office in Constantia”, Cape Town, did not have the shareholders’ approval.
“The loan was granted on the falsified documents and the monies were released into the Korevest Mauritius bank account from where [they were] redirected to the personal bank account of [Korver],” court papers read.
Schaefer and Schliemann found out about the bond when the sheriff came knocking at their door.
“Upon default of the repayment due to Investec Bank Mauritius, summons was issued against [Schaefer and Schliemann/and the company] and an anti-dissipation order was granted against the aforementioned immovable property in the Western Cape High Court,” the charge sheet reads.
In relation to the money laundering charge, the prosecution accuses Korver of channelling the funds he received from Investec to various bank accounts “with the intent to disguise or conceal the origin of the monies”.