Online dating scammer in court

2015-01-21 18:23
(Duncan Alfreds, News24)

(Duncan Alfreds, News24)

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Cape Town - A man accused of committing fraud during an online dating scam made his first appearance in the Bellville Specialised Commercial Crime Court in Cape Town on Wednesday.

Muyiwa Obafeni, 35, from Nigeria, who is out on R10 000 bail, was not asked to plead when he appeared before Magistrate Sabrina Sonnenberg.

He was arrested in April last year.

Prosecutor Juan Agulhas alleges that he promised his victim, Kuo-Sen Liu Hendrika, R16m for financially helping a man living in New Zealand, who wanted to transfer trust money to his daughter, Joy Dlodlo, in Durban.

Obafeni allegedly used false online profiles to target vulnerable victims for grooming, before asking for money for false emergencies. In his profiles he claimed to be wealthy and able to repay monies advanced.

The profiles included photographs and personal information.

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

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 Dennis’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 Dennis was taking to Dlodlo.

For the certificate, the customs official asked for, and was paid, R35 690.

The victim was allegedly duped into paying Dennis an additional four amounts - $1 300 (about R22 650) for stamp duty, and R697 000, R35 000 and R15 000 into Dennis’s personal account.

According to the charge sheet, Dennis was arrested in the Cape Town suburb of Maitland after asking for yet another payment into his personal account.

After the arrest the victim never heard from Joy Dlodlo again.

Obafeni faces one count of conspiracy to commit fraud and nine of fraud. He is to appear in court again on 6 February.

Agulhas has two other pending cases involving online dating scams - on 30 January and 20 February.

 

Read more on:    cape town  |  fraud  |  crime  |  internet

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