Con man preying on models - cops
Durban - Police have warned young women to beware of a con artist who lures them with promises of modelling jobs, before raping or robbing them.
"We fear he is becoming more violent," KwaZulu-Natal police spokesperson Colonel Jay Naicker said on Friday.
He said the man gave different names to his victims, such as Nathan Bradley Cleopaths and Thomas Bester. He was wanted for rape cases, fraud and kidnapping.
He advertised on the internet for young women seeking to pursue a career in modelling.
"He then travels with them from one part of the country to another, getting them to pay all expenses by promising them reimbursements once they reach their destination."
Using his charm, the man made the women book into hotels or bed-and-breakfasts for a few days.
"He takes their laptops, iPods and cellphones away, saying he needs to have them scanned for security reasons, or that he needs their undivided attention," Naicker said.
The man then disappears with the valuables without settling hotel bills.
In one incident, a young model and her boyfriend were duped.
"The model responded to one of his many e-mails and together with her boyfriend met him in the foyer of a building at Auckland Park, Johannesburg."
The man somehow persuaded the boyfriend to allow the woman to travel with him, in her car, to Durban.
"He told her all costs incurred by her will be paid back once they reach Durban," Naicker said.
He took the girl to a City Lodge hotel in Umhlanga Rocks where he asked her to shower and dress up.
"He tied her up, cut her face and raped her before vanishing with her valuables."
Naicker said another young model managed to escape from him after she was warned about him. They were on a bus from Johannesburg to Cape Town.
"There have been many similar incidents before, and it seems that he targets girls of all races."
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