Controversial businessman Edwin Sodi, ex-girlfriend Disebo Makatsa and DJ Sumbody were among the victims of an elaborate multimillion-rand travel scam allegedly masterminded by Joburg businessman and travel agent Michael Quintin Jansen van Vuuren.
Edwin Sodi is a popular and wealthy businessman who has been making news for all the wrong reasons lately. From being involved in a corruption scandal, to allegedly breaking people’s marriages, to being a blesser to the top women in the media industry – Edwin Sodi’s name has been dragged through it all.
Jansen van Vuuren is said to have promised to arrange a trip and accommodation to attend the Monaco F1 Grand Prix in 2019. However, the trip never took place.
Edwin Sodi who stands accused accused of dating married women and allegedly wrecking Idols SA presenter Proverb as well as Minnie Dlamini's marriages, is said to have lost R160,000 together with one of his ex-girlfriends Disebo Makatsa. DJ Sumbody, real name John Sefoka, lost R195 000. Other high-flying personalities who were defrauded by Jansen van Vuuren include businessman and Rebosis Property Fund boss Sisa Ngebulana, who lost R159,000.
Some victims who fell prey to the scam paid between R200,000 and R300,000 to attend the race.
Jansen van Vuuren allegedly lured a Joburg-based Supercar Club, and unsuspecting victims, into paying him R7.3-million for the racing event. Jansen van Vuuren has since been arrested and charged with 49 counts of fraud.
He first appeared in the Palm Ridge Commercial Crimes Court on December 11 2019 and will appear again this week. The Supercar Club, which is also known as Le Coterie or Veloca Supercar Society opened a case against him at the Douglasdale police station.
According to the charge sheet the Supercar Club used the services of Jansen van Vuuren, who claimed to represent Matrix Concierge, to arrange packages for members who own super cars to attend racing events across the globe .
He allegedly misled Supercar Club boss Ivan Smuts, telling him Matrix Concierge was the subsidiary of a UK company that specialises in upmarket concierge services, which could arrange the travel packages.
However, Smuts claims Jansen van Vuuren later told him that he would no longer perform his obligations through Matrix, but through another company, Living Beyond Concierge.
Jansen van Vuuren then offered Smuts VIP packages for interested Supercar Club members who wanted to attend the Azerbaijan FI Grand Prix between April 26 and 28 2019 in Baku, as well as the Monaco F1 Grand Prix on May 26 that year.
“The packages, which were sold to Le Coterie, were all inclusive of travel, accommodation and paddock pass access to the grands prix,” reads the charge sheet.
About 58 people from the Supercar Club then purchased the packages to attend the Monaco Grand Prix, while 22 paid to attend the Azerbaijan Grand Prix.
They paid the money into the Supercar Club account, and Jansen van Vuuren was expected to issue invoices for payment of the expenses and fees for his services.
In December 2018, Jansen van Vuuren informed Smuts that he would perform his obligations in terms of the agreement through Living Beyond. He convinced Smuts to continue to make payments and do away with requiring invoices.
Supercar Club paid more than R7.3-million into the accounts of Matrix and later Living Beyond for flights, accommodation and paddock passes.
Of that amount, Supercar Club transferred R6.7-million into Jansen van Vuuren’s account.
Gauteng provincial police spokesperson Dimakatso Sello declined to comment and referred us to the NPA.
– Sunday World