Ingrid Oellermann, The Witness
Pietermaritzburg – Just four-and-a-half years after winning a R10m Lotto payout, a former police officer has landed in hot water for allegedly committing a house robbery.
Dayalin Maslamoney, 39, who left the police force after his unexpected windfall in June 2009, was arrested on Sunday along another man.
They are alleged to have posed as bogus policemen and robbed Yusuf Billy, 20, and two friends of R250 at a house in Boom Street in Pietermaritzburg.
‘Down and out’
A former multi-millionaire, Maslamoney is apparently “down and out on his luck” and unemployed, reportedly having spent his fortune on cars, a house and living it up with his friends.
The Witness on Tuesday made contact with Maslamoney’s ex-wife, who was unaware of his arrest.
“We have been divorced for three years now and I have nothing to do with him. All this caused me a lot of depression and I don’t want to say anything at all about him,” she said.
She asked The Witness to respect her privacy and to refrain from using her name to avoid further trauma to her family, saying she had “moved on”.
Shortly after he won R10 498 000 on a R50 “quick pick” Lotto ticket in June 2009, Maslamoney’s wife instituted a high court action interdicting him and Absa Bank from in any way touching his winnings pending the outcome of the divorce action she intended to launch at that time.
The couple subsequently reconciled for a time, but this did not work out.
In her high court application in 2009, Maslamoney’s wife told the court her husband had squandered nearly R500 000 of his lotto winnings in just one month and she was afraid if the court didn’t intervene to stop him, he would carry on spending it.
Because they were married in community of property, she was entitled to half the money if they did divorce.
According to her affidavit, Maslamoney paid R100 000 for a car, put down an R80 000 deposit on a property and paid debts totalling around R36 000.
The rest of the R500 000 he spent on parties, liquor and drugs for his friends.
His wife said she bought the winning ticket for him at a petrol station on 18 April 2009.
The next day her husband told her that he had won but didn’t disclose how much. She went with him to the Lotto offices in Durban on 20 April, where he was told he had “shared” the jackpot with another person.
Officials helped Maslamoney to open a bank account and deposit his R10 498 000 share into it.
On Tuesday, Maslamoney and his co-accused, Zaheer Khan, 32, made a fleeting appearance before Pietermaritzburg magistrate Celemusa Zungu.
So far the charge sheet reflects only one charge of “theft by false pretences” against the two accused, but prosecutor Sharleen Haggard said the State intended to add a charge of impersonating a police officer.
She also said police have information about the possible involvement of the accused in “other matters”.
The case was postponed to 11 February for further investigation, with both men remanded in custody.
KwaZulu-Natal police spokesperson Captain Thulani Zwane said the two accused were arrested on Sunday night as they fled from the house where the robbery allegedly occurred.
According to Zwane, it is alleged that Yusuf Billy heard a knock at the door of his house at about 19:40 and opened it.
Two men, in civilian clothes, allegedly forced their way inside.
“One of the men produced a name badge bearing the police insignia and told the occupants they are policemen.
“The men then questioned Billy and his friends about a person, and when they told the men that they knew nothing, the alleged ‘policemen’ then demanded cash from the victims,” said Zwane.
He said police were tipped off about the robbery by one of the occupants of the house, and the suspects were arrested as they were fleeing from the house.
Cash and the name badge were allegedly found in their possession.