Scam accused plan to skip country

Pretoria - Three people arrested for an alleged travel scam and the murder of a Pretoria policeman planned to skip the country, the Pretoria North Magistrate's Court heard on Monday.

Investigating officer Constable John Ramollo told the court passports were discovered in a car when they were arrested.

"Accused one has a passport and she was leaving the country. She has a business in Namibia. If she is granted bail, she could leave and we won't be able to find her," said Ramollo.

Renette Wright appeared with Salome Klopper, while Wright's husband Hendrick Jacobus Wright was not present as he was in hospital.

The two women were applying for bail.

The three are accused of defrauding Adriaan Petrus Johnson of R26 000.

Cop killed during raid

Johnson allegedly paid the money to the Wrights' company, Zambezi Tours, which was selling holiday packages.

Ramollo said the modus operandi of the business was to cancel trips a week before the departure date, with clients never getting their refunds in the process.

Klopper was said to be a receptionist and secretary.

They were arrested on 24 July in Sinoville, Pretoria.

A police officer, Warrant Officer Ben Strydom, 47, was shot dead during a raid at their house while trying to arrest the husband. According to police, when Hendrick Wright saw the police, he tried to escape through another door of the house but Strydom caught him.

He allegedly drew a firearm and shot the policeman before fleeing. While travelling on the Moloto Road, he stopped his car and shot and wounded himself.

No new address

Ramollo told the court the two were flight risks and should not be granted bail. He said they did not have fixed addresses and employment.

He added that the address given by Wright was that of the house they were arrested in - a house she was leasing and was allegedly moving out of.

The house was empty when police arrested them.

"She had rented he house from Just Letting but she was planning to move out of the house and she did not have a new address. Accused two [Klopper] gave us an address in Bonacord and the house owner told us that Salome has been renting since January," he said.

Magistrate Pierre Wessels asked Ramollo if he did not consider a person leasing a property to have a fixed address.

He explained that Renette Wright was planning on moving out of the property which she was leasing and therefore did not have a fixed address.

Ramollo said all three had outstanding warrants of arrest in the Northern Cape.

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Lima 2014/08/04 01:08:26 PM
Lock them up and throw away the key!
Will Homeby 2014/08/04 01:51:00 PM
Begin the deportation process. Funny how no one comments on these type pf crimes. Hmmmm.... I wonder why?
mantlekilo 2014/08/04 01:56:12 PM
Scum of the earth....throw the whole book at them ....cop killers especially must be stripped of all their rights. Mankind has absolutely no use for this vermin.
Teko Mohaeka 2014/08/04 01:57:03 PM
Assuming these are whites I wonder what the other whites will say on this story
Jamill Ahmed 2014/08/04 02:18:21 PM
Strange that no updates from the middle east
Lee Gates 2014/08/04 02:38:09 PM
They defrauded a heritage steam train operation based in Germiston, about five years ago. When things got a bit hot, they fled the country to Mozambique. Defrauding tourists is nothing new to these scum bags.
Vela Mashazi 2014/08/04 02:45:27 PM
Hendrick Jacobus Wright tried to rob me of my Ford Bantam that I asked Him to sell on my behalf, The sheriff failed to attach any of his belongings because He didn't have anything registered on his name, even the premises that he rented at Zambezi was not on his name, either any of the cars. I had to use my guys to force him transfer my money, I think he has wronged so many people and what is happening to them is pay back time.Let them rot in Jail, and I bet more people that they defrauded will come forward soon.