Cops have arrested a groom for defrauding a church out of over GBP 50,000 as he was getting ready for his wedding.
Cops arrested George Vorster as he was in the middle of getting dressed for the wedding at the upmarket Didima Resort, north-west of the South African city of Durban and close to the border with Lesotho, on Saturday, 29th June.
He was pictured sitting outside with only his trousers and shirt on and with no socks or shoes after the arrest, which was the culmination of an investigation into the 32-year-old man on allegations of fraud that began last year.
Amongst other infractions, Vorster is believed to have defrauded the Dutch Reformed Church in the neighbourhood of Escombe in the town of Queensburgh in the Greater Durban area out of ZAR 1 million (GBP 50,405).
Before the day of his wedding, Vorster had previously kept a low profile to avoid arrest, staying at different addresses to the ones he gave and making sure he was unreachable by telephone.
However, investigators caught wind of his upcoming wedding and, believing he would not forgo his own special day, decided to carry out the arrest there and then.
Vorster was under an hour away from tying the knot with his fiancee when officials stormed the resort and arrested the suspect in his chalet.
His fiancee was having her hair and makeup done in the neighbouring chalet when the arrest took place.
The venue was under heavy security at the time, with the premises even being patrolled by armed bodyguards, who tried to prevent the officials from entering before finally having to allow them in.
According to reports, “many” people had got in touch with private detective Rhyno Lombard to allege that Vorster had swindled them out of money.
The suspect was taken into custody after officials took a photo of him half-dressed and looking glum following his arrest.
He appeared at the Magistrates Court in the city of Pinetown in the Greater Durban area on Tuesday, 22nd June and again on Monday, 28th June.
In addition to the Dutch Reformed Church, he is believed to have defrauded another client out of ZAR 1.4 million (GBP 70,496).
His alleged modus operandi was to take charge of paying companies’ import and export taxes but not pay the full amounts.
According to his LinkedIn page, he has been the managing director of a company called VRST International since January 2016.
He lists his responsibilities as “management of international freight contracts for the VRST Group”, “overseeing all general managers and country managers in East Africa”, “implementation of risk management” and “financial management for the VRST Group”.
Vorster was expected to apply for bail at his court appearance yesterday (28th June), but it is not clear if he did so. It is also unclear when a court case over the allegations is expected to take place.