Four inmates to appear in court in connection with online sex worker scam

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Four inmates were allegedly running an online scam.
Four inmates were allegedly running an online scam.
Thulani Mbele, Gallo Images/Sowetan
  • Four inmates will appear in the Pretoria Magistrate's Court on Monday.
  • They will face charges of fraud, money laundering, uttering and impersonating police officers.
  • They allegedly extorted money from men who sought the services of an online escort agency by threatening them with rape and fraud charges.

Four inmates will appear in the Pretoria Magistrate's Court on Monday to face charges of forgery, impersonating police officers, uttering, and money laundering. 

An investigation by the Hawks into allegedly corrupt police officers uncovered a scam targeting men who sought the services of an online escort agency. 

Hawks spokesperson Colonel Philani Nkwalase said on Friday that the investigation lifted the lid on a syndicate of inmates who targeted the men by using fake identities they had taken from unsuspecting police officers.

The Hawks led a cybercrime search at the Odi and Baviaanspoort correctional centres in Mabopane and Pretoria respectively on Thursday night. 

READ | Gaping hole left on woman's face after boyfriend bit her during deadly attack, court hears

They seized 36 smartphones allegedly used to commit the crimes. 

The inmates, posing as police officers, allegedly threatened the victims with charges of rape and fraud for "using fake money to pay the sex workers". 

They also allegedly sent fraudulent arrest warrants via WhatsApp and told the men pay money to avoid arrest.

"Over the period between May and August 2022, the total amounts of R760 000 and R560 000 had been paid into two separate accounts provided to the victims to deposit the money," said Nkwalase. 

Nkwalase told News24 that one of the inmates was from Baviaanspoort correctional services centre and three from the Mabopane correctional services centre.

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