SA used as springboard for cybercrime

2014-05-22 05:00
(Duncan Alfreds, News24)

(Duncan Alfreds, News24)

Multimedia   ·   User Galleries   ·   News in Pictures Send us your pictures  ·  Send us your stories

Johannesburg – An international cybercrime syndicate is alleged to have sold their illegally obtained merchandise from South Africa, officials said on Wednesday.

The syndicate was exposed this week, with 12 people arrested on South African soil.

Twelve people were arrested in Pretoria on Tuesday while another 10 were arrested in the US and Canada, authorities from the three countries said in a joint statement.

The arrests came after a joint operation between the Hawks, Crime Intelligence, SA Tactical Response Team and department of home affairs and Interpol, the US Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) and Homeland Security Investigations (HSI).

"The suspects, 11 Nigerians and one South African woman, are linked to this global scam. The suspects enriched themselves with illegally obtained funds," authorities said in a statement.

The scams included romance scams, reshipping scams, fraudulent check scams, work-at-home scams, along with bank, financial and credit card account takeovers.

The 12 appeared in the Pretoria Magistrate's Court on Wednesday on charges of fraud and theft. The matter was postponed to 28 May.

They would be extradited to the United States where they were expected to face other charges.

The investigation was initiated by HSI special agents in October 2011, after US law enforcement was contacted by a female victim in Mississippi, who was a victim in one of the scams.

She allegedly received a suspicious package in the mail requesting her to reship the merchandise to an address in Pretoria, South Africa.

During investigations, it was found that merchandise was purchased using stolen personal identity information and fraudulent credit card information of persons in the United States.

The syndicate is said to have operated for some years purchasing shipping labels from the US Postal Service (USPS), Federal Express, United Parcel Service and DHL with fraudulent credit card information or stolen identities.

Once the merchandise reached South Africa, the group advertised it for sale on the internet.

Head of the Hawks, Lieutenant General Anwa Dramat said the arrests were a ramification of the collaboration between SAPS and US Homeland Security Investigations.

"If criminals are able to interact with their fellows across the borders, we can do it better," said Dramat.

The arrests were as a result of the HSI special agents following a financial fraud scam to Sunnyside, Pretoria.

HSI Pretoria Attach Abraham Lugo said the HSI believed that by working with the South African government to dismantle the transnational mass marketing criminal organisations, they would bring the perpetrators to justice and recoup the victims' losses.

"Our collaboration with the South African Police Service, Interpol and other government agencies, will also increase public awareness of these crimes and hopefully will prevent people from falling victim to these schemes in the future," he said.

- SAPA
Read more on:    interpol  |  hawks  |  anwa dramat  |  us  |  pretoria  |  cybercrime
NEXT ON NEWS24X
SHARE:

Read News24’s Comments Policy

24.com publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
30 comments
Comments have been closed for this article.
 

Inside News24

 
/News
 

10 facts about swimming you didn't know

This will make you want to jump right into the pool.

 
 

Where were you when you last felt alive?

Snors with a cause - creating awareness of male health
Inspiring: Rock climbing with just one leg
Watch! Skateboarders racing cyclists
Exciting new zipline for Cape Town!

Jobs in Cape Town [change area]

Jobs in Western Cape region

IT Auditor

Cape Town Southern Suburbs
Network Finance Sunninghill
R500 000 - R600 000 Per Year

Inbound Call Centre Consultant

Cape Town
Corporate Success Recruitment
R6 500 - R8 000 Per Month

Junior - Mid Mobile Developer

Cape Town
Datafin Recruitment

Property [change area]

Travel - Look, Book, Go!

Magical Massinga

Spend 5 nights at the gorgeous Massinga Beach Lodge in Mozambique and only pay for 4 from R13 220 per person sharing. Includes return flights, accommodation, transfers and romantic turndown. Book now!

Kalahari.com - shop online today

Save up to R2100 on electronics! – As seen in the catalogue

Wishing for tech gadgets this festive? Save up to R2100 on hot tech products at kalahari.com. While stocks last. Shop now!

TV Series – 2 for R299

Loads of hot titles to choose from. Shop now!

Hot offer: Up to 50% off irons

Save up to 50% on all Philips irons. While stocks last. Shop now!

Seen something you like in our catalogue?

Find the perfect gift and save up to R5000 – As seen on the catalogue. Hurry and shop now!

Toys 4 for the price of 3

Buy 4 toys and get the cheapest FREE! Offer valid while stocks last. Shop now!

OLX Free Classifieds [change area]

Samsung Galaxy s4

Mobile, Cell Phones in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 24

Best bargain in big bay

Real Estate, Houses - Apartments for Sale in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 25

VW Golf 6, 1.6 Trendline (Excellent condition)

Vehicles, Cars in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 25

Horoscopes
Aquarius
Aquarius

You may be doing the work and playing the game, but your innovative mind is on a far away planet planning the next big thing....read more

There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.
 
English
Afrikaans
isiZulu

Hello 

Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.


Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.

Settings

Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.








Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.