Online dating scammer's case postponed

By Drum Digital
06 February 2015

The case of a man accused of committing fraud via an online dating scam was postponed by the Bellville Specialised Commercial Crimes Court, in Cape Town, on Friday.

Muyiwa Obafeni, 35, from Nigeria, who is out on R10,000 bail, was not asked to plead.

The case was postponed to March 10, to give lawyer Howard Andrew an opportunity to consult him in Pollsmoor Prison.

Obafeni was arrested in April 2013, and made several appearances in the Cape Town District Court before his case was transferred to the commercial court.

Prosecutor Juan Agulhas alleged that Obafeni promised his victim, Kuo-Sen Liu Hendrika, R16 million for financially helping a man living in New Zealand, who wanted to transfer trust money to his daughter Joy Dlodlo in Durban.

Obafeni allegedly created online profiles of wealthy people and groomed vulnerable victims before asking for money for false emergencies.

According to the charge sheet, the victim started chatting online to a woman claiming to be Joy Dlodlo, on the website www.zoosk.com.

Dlodlo falsely informed him that her father Jacob was in New Zealand and needed to transfer money to her, but that she needed financial help to clear the money. Dlodlo claimed to be caring for her mother in Durban.

A bogus agent named "Dennis" (Obafeni) contacted the victim on behalf of Dlodlo. A bogus home affairs official named Thuletu Mtseke falsely informed the victim that R21,740 was needed to ensure Obafeni's safe travel to Dlodlo, with the trust money.

The victim paid the money, and a bogus customs official undertook to help provide an anti money laundering certificate needed to "release" the money that Obafeni was "taking" to Dlodlo.

-SAPA

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