Hawks bust suspected online scam syndicate in connection with R8m fraud

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Hawks have bust an alleged online scam.
Hawks have bust an alleged online scam.
Gallo Images / Sowetan / Tiro Ramatlhatse

Seven suspects arrested for being part of an alleged online scam syndicate are expected to appear in the Palm Ridge Specialised Commercial Crimes Court on Friday.

The group, arrested by the Hawks, face charges of fraud and money laundering.

"The suspects' apprehension emanates from an extensive investigation relating to business email compromise fraud scam allegations where approximately 500 000 USD (R8 million) was swindled from a United States of America based entity in April 2020 and thereafter transferred into different South African bank accounts," Brigadier Thandi Mbambo said in a statement on Thursday.

According to the Hawks, the seven suspects were arrested following an operation at several premises around Johannesburg in the early hours of Thursday.

READ | Five of South Africa's biggest online scams of 2021

The four men and three women are between 25 and 42-years-old.

The National Head of the Directorate for Priority Crime Investigation, Lieutenant-General Godfrey Lebeya commended the team behind the arrest.

"Organised criminal groups should know that law enforcement agencies are collaborating on an international level to dismantle criminal networks," he said.


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