Annica Van Staden (46) is sought by the Hawks’ Serious Commercial Crime Investigation team in Mpumalanga for alleged fraud, after she masterminded a devastating scheme that swindled thousands from prospective home buyers.

The suspect, who has been in hiding for almost half a year, took payments on houses that simply WERE NOT up for sale.

After releasing a list of criminals sought for a number of violent crimes on Monday, both SAPS and the Hawks are now seeking help from the public in a bid to bring this fraudster to justice. The following case details have been established:

  • – Her calculated crimewave spanned between October 2014 and July 2015.
  • – Van Staden allegedly transferred money to other agents she employed, after taking payments on houses ‘not up for sale’.
  • – However, none of them, including herself were registered with the Estate Agency Affairs Board.
  • – She was arrested in Protea Glen, Soweto in August 2019 for fraud – before the case was pushed back 15 months.
  • – However, the fraudster never returned to court in November 2020 after posting bail, and the Hawks need help in finding her.

As one would understand, the authorities are fuming with Van Staden. Anyone who knows her whereabouts is urged to contact the Hawks’ investigating team – and their contact details can be found here.

Meanwhile, the SAPS statement goes into more detail about the racket the 46-year-old was running. She was operating in a number of towns across Mpumalanga, and a similar criminal case was previously opened against her in Nelspruit.

“The suspect had a registered business called Housing First Property in Mpumalanga. Her modus operandi was to sell Reconstruction and Development Programme (RDP) houses, repossessed houses as well as private property in the vicinity of Middelburg, Witbank, Secunda, and Kriel. It was established that the houses she sold were not for sale.”

“It’s further alleged that the buyer had to pay the deposit on a house or the selling price into her business, the Housing First Property. Van Staden defrauded the buyers by not transferring the properties to their names and had to pay for home loans of the properties they never acquired. She no longer resides in Middelburg, her whereabouts are unknown.”

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