SPCA loses R16?585 in mobile clinic scam

2009-09-18 00:00

THE National Council of SPCAs (NSPCA) yesterday reported that it has been scammed out of R16 585 “as a result of a complex, yet plausible scam”.

The matter has been reported to Interpol.

A spokeswoman for the NSPCA, Marcelle Meredith, said that when the NSPCA received an e-mail claiming to be from a veterinarian overseas offering to donate an equipped mobile clinic, “there was delight and anticipation”.

“All reasonable checks were made to verify the legitimacy of this donation and the role players, including the shipping company.

“Matters proceeded until payment of $2 000 [ R16 390, including bank charges] was requested for door-to-door delivery. Payment was made by forex to an account in Bangkok, allegedly the account of the shipping company,” said Meredith.

She said suspicions were aroused when the date of arrival passed and there was no sign of the vehicle and equipment.

“Investigations and inquires led to the conclusion that the entire operation was a scam with villains posing as a veterinarian, an existing shipping company and ostensibly port officials in Doha in the Middle East where the vehicle was allegedly in transit.”

In an effort to retrieve their money, the NSPCA used the services of an advocate whose report on the matter stated: “The National Council for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals was the victim of what seemed to be a well-run international scam operated by an entity called Radebe Tutu Acoly. The funds have been withdrawn. The Pacific Shipping Company does exist, but has no knowledge of the invoice or transaction.”

Meredith said the shipping company had been helpful in assisting the NSPCA to uncover this scam.

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