Couple who stole from the KZN Blind and Deaf Society tells how

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Couple, Ruvanya Ramiah and Ayush Rambally, have pleaded guilty to fraud and theft in the Durban Specialised high court.

The duo first made national headlines in April 2022, after they were arrested in Estcourt, KZN for defrauding the KwaZulu-Natal Blind and Deaf Society out of millions of Rands. At the time of their arrest, they had already been on the run for four years.

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KZN spokesperson for the National Prosecuting Authority, Natasha Kara explained that on Wednesday, 22 June 2022, Ramiah pleaded guilty to 354 counts of fraud, amounting to over R12 million. This, while Rambally pleaded guilty to 79 counts of theft, amounting to approximately R1.7 million.

“In her plea, Ramiah stated that she was employed as a Finance Officer, at the KwaZulu-Natal Blind and Deaf Society from March 2012 to February 2019. Her duties included salary payments and general payments, and she had access to and control of the Society’s banking accounts. She said she committed the fraud by paying herself inflated salaries, twice and sometimes more times in the same month,” stated Kara.

Moreover, Kara pointed out that Ramia further said that she also created false payments to suppliers and fabricated evidence to support those payments. The money was going into her bank account and that of her husband (Rambally).

Kara further stated, “Rambally said during his plea, that he took the money knowing very well that he was not entitled to it, as he was neither an employee nor a creditor of the Society. He admitted to being aware that his actions were unlawful and intended to permanently deprive the Society of the funds, which he would use for his and his wife’s purposes.”

The matter was remanded to 4 August 2022, for pre-sentencing and correctional supervision reports. The pair will remain in custody as they were previously denied bail.

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