Online dating scammer in Cape Town court

Zoosk online dating website. (Duncan Alfreds, Fin24)
Zoosk online dating website. (Duncan Alfreds, Fin24)

Johannesburg - A man accused of committing fraud through an online dating scam is expected to appear in the Bellville Specialised Commercial Crime Court in Cape Town on Tuesday.

Muyiwa Obafeni, 35, from Nigeria, was arrested in April 2013, and made several appearances in the Cape Town District Court before his case was transferred to the commercial court.

Prosecutor Juan Agulhas alleged that Obafeni 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 created online profiles of wealthy people and groomed vulnerable victims before asking for money for false emergencies.

The profiles included photographs and personal information, to bolster the veil of credibility, so that Obafeni could gain the victim's trust.

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

Massive payments

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 Obafeni'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 Obafeni was "taking" to Dlodlo.

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

The victim was allegedly duped into paying an additional four amounts - $1 300 for stamp duty, and R697 000, R35 000 and R15 000 - into Obafeni's personal account.

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

After the arrest, the alleged victim did not hear from Joy Dlodlo again.

Obafeni faces one count of conspiracy to commit fraud and nine of fraud.

He is out on R10 000 bail.

We live in a world where facts and fiction get blurred
In times of uncertainty you need journalism you can trust. For only R75 per month, you have access to a world of in-depth analyses, investigative journalism, top opinions and a range of features. Journalism strengthens democracy. Invest in the future today.
Subscribe to News24
Rand - Dollar
14.13
-0.0%
Rand - Pound
19.92
-0.0%
Rand - Euro
17.16
-0.0%
Rand - Aus dollar
11.00
-0.0%
Rand - Yen
0.13
-0.0%
Gold
1,843.76
0.0%
Silver
27.42
0.0%
Palladium
2,894.50
0.0%
Platinum
1,229.50
0.0%
Brent Crude
68.71
+2.5%
Top 40
60,573
+0.6%
All Share
66,598
+0.7%
Resource 10
69,386
-0.1%
Industrial 25
83,277
+0.9%
Financial 15
12,685
+1.5%
All JSE data delayed by at least 15 minutes Iress logo
Company Snapshot
Voting Booth
Please select an option Oops! Something went wrong, please try again later.
Results
Yes, and I've gotten it.
21% - 1450 votes
No, I did not.
52% - 3622 votes
My landlord refused
27% - 1923 votes
Vote