NSPCA duped by Bangkok syndicate

2009-09-17 18:33

Johannesburg - The National Council of SPCA's was defrauded of thousands of rands by a Bangkok syndicate claiming it wanted to sell a mobile veterinary clinic.

"We are R16 585 out of pocket as a result of this scam," the NSPCA's Marcelle Meredith said in a statement.

Calling it a "complex yet plausible scam", the charity said it received an e-mail from a veterinarian overseas offering to sell the vehicle, and that all checks were made to verify the legitimacy of the offer.

After verification, payment of US$2 000 for door-to-door delivery was requested. The money was paid into a Bangkok account.

Suspicions arose when the date of arrival passed without sign of the vehicle and equipment.

Meredith said an advocate was hired who concluded the NSPCA had been duped.

The advocate's report read: "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"The funds have been withdrawn.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."

The shipping company had been "extremely helpful" and was helping the NSPCA uncover the scam.