More cruisers scammed

2020-01-03 14:43
A file image of a cruise ship.

A file image of a cruise ship.

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At least two more people have opened cases in connection with an alleged holiday cruise scam.

Sue Trytsman, of Mountain View, has alleged that she and several friends and families have found themselves tens of thousands of rands out of pocket because of a crafty scheme where a local woman stands charged with selling them a “fake” dream cruise and pocketing the money.

It is alleged that while legitimately employed by a Durban travel agency the woman sold affordable dream cruise holidays and then asked that the money be paid into her account. She allegedly even showed clients fake booking numbers.

Claridge woman Carmelita Juanita Jansen (37) appeared briefly in the magistrate’s court on December 20 in connection with the allegations, but was not asked to plead to any of the charges she is facing. At the time of her court appearance only one count was reflected on the charge sheet, but SAPS spokesperson Sergeant Mthokozisi Ngobese confirmed at the time that more were being added.

Jansen is out on R1 000 bail.

Since the matter was reported in Weekend Witness on December 21, more people have come forward to report allegedly being scammed to police.

Trytsman, who has added another count to the charges Jansen faces, told The Witness she was informed of Jansen’s cruise offer by a relative, who herself had booked to go on a cruise in November.

Trytsman then booked for a group of about 13 people to go on a similar cruise in March, allegedly costing R2 800 a head.

She claimed Jansen asked her to pay the money as soon as possible as she could get them cheap bookings because her company allowed her to bring a certain number of people as her “guests”.

Trytsman said as time went on she monitored Jansen on WhatsApp and noticed she fell ill. “It was getting closer to my relative’s cruise time [in November] and she [Jansen] was still in hospital.

“We all started demanding our money back. She said the trip was cancelled and we will be paid,” Trytsman alleged.

Trytsman said some people were paid back, but most allegedly were not. “It’s terrible. Our groups mainly consisted of pensioners who came from Johannesburg and Cape Town and they were very excited. It’s quite sad that this happened.”

A second complainant declined to speak to The Witness.

• Anyone with more information or who had a similar experience can contact Captain Piet van Zanten on 079 500 0592 or Detective Warrant Officer Kevin Moodley on 084 397 9277 or their office on 033 384 7724.


Read more on:    pietermaritzburg  |  fraud
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