Pretoria – Two women, Omotese Ebor, 40, and Fortune Nomfusi, 31, have been arrested by the Directorate for Priority Crime Investigation (Hawks) in a major breakthrough following a “romance scam” in which an unnamed woman was swindled out of almost R2 million.
It is alleged that between December 2016 and January 2018, the unsuspecting woman met a “potential partner” on social media who introduced himself as “Mr Allen Grey”, who claimed to be a prominent businessman in the Western Cape.
The accused, pretending to be Allen Grey, reportedly borrowed approximately R1.9 million during this period, claiming that “his” bank accounts had been hacked, Mulama said.
“The money was reportedly transferred into different bank accounts, including R857 000 into Ebor’s business bank account. Guided by her suspicions, the complainant reported the matter to the Hawks’ Serious Commercial Crime Investigation in Johannesburg for further probing,” Mulamu said.
Authorities successfully secured a warrant of arrest against all those positively linked to the matter.
A multi-disciplinary approach driven operation was conducted by the Hawks’ serious commercial crime investigation and the tactical operation management services (Toms) in Sandton, where Ebor was arrested during a church service.
Earlier this year, the other alleged perpetrator linked to the scam, Fortune Nomfusi, was successfully traced and arrested in Makhaza, Khayelitsha in the Western Cape.
Meanwhile, the head of the Hawks in Gauteng, Major General Ebrahim Kadwa has commended the investigation team for the determination and passion displayed during tracing of the accused.
“We would like to caution the public who seek romance online to always be vigilant against the possible criminals hiding behind the name of love. Perpetrators out there may lure the unsuspecting and vulnerable romance-seekers online for exploitation purposes as well,” Kadwa said.