Hawks arrest man for 'scam targeting the elderly'

A warrant of arrest has been issued for a police officer with alleged links to two Westbury gangs. (iStock)
A warrant of arrest has been issued for a police officer with alleged links to two Westbury gangs. (iStock)

The Hawks have arrested a 54-year-old Midrand man who allegedly scammed an elderly woman out of R500 000.

Spokesperson Brigadier Hangwani Mulaudzi says the Hawks' investigation led them to two victims of the alleged scam.

The first woman, a nutrition distributor, claimed the man approached her and showed interest in purchasing her products.

The two had agreed on a purchase of R1 073 for the products, and the woman sent the man an invoice and her account details.

But, to her surprise, R300 000 was transferred into her account instead.

The woman contacted the Midrand police and the matter was escalated to the Hawks.

On Friday, the Hawks traced the R300 000 and identified the source.

R500 000 for 'new car'

The source, however, was not the alleged scammer but a 72-year-old woman who said she had transferred the money to purchase a new car.

"The 72-year-old senior citizen informed the team that she transferred R500 000 - R200 000 and R300 000 - to two different accounts for a new vehicle," Mulaudzi said.

"The investigating team established the victim was tricked as neither the company name nor the address appearing on the invoice were valid. Both accounts were immediately frozen and investigations are still ongoing."

All phones, SIM cards and a storage device were seized from the man.

He is expected to appear in the Midrand Magistrate's Court on Tuesday on charges of fraud and money-laundering.

Hawks head Lieutenant General Godfrey Lebeya commended the arrest.

"It is disheartening to see how crooks are targeting the elderly. We shall also be focusing on the legal status of the individual in the country," he said.

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