Three people, who allegedly planned to defraud a man of the R78m he inherited from his elderly German employer, have been arrested by the Hawks' Serious Commercial Crime Investigation Unit.
The German woman nominated the man as her sole beneficiary and it is alleged that after her death in 2014, neighbours conspired to defraud him.
"The employee went to [the] neighbours to seek assistance and advice on the administration and winding up the affairs of the deceased. The neighbours allegedly gave him a few thousand [rand] and allegedly requested him to go back to his home whilst they start with the process on his behalf," Hawks spokesperson Simphiwe Mhlongo said in a statement on Monday.
"Upon his return he noticed that the three had allegedly altered the deceased's signature on the will, putting themselves as beneficiaries," Mhlongo said.
The German woman's relatives later opened a fraud case at the Durban North police station.
The Hawks' Serious Commercial Crime Investigation unit was roped in to assist with investigations in 2016, leading to the arrest of the three people - retail manager Pamela Pillay (62), lawyer Rodney Reddy (51) and lawyer Pravin Rajadene (55) - last Thursday.
They appeared in Durban Specialised Commercial Court on the same day and were each granted R2 000 bail.
Pillay, Reddy and Rajadene are expected to appear in court again on February 4, 2019, pending further investigations.