Hawks nab fourth person linked to an alleged online dating scam

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  • A fourth individual has been arrested for allegedly running an online dating scam.
  • The woman and her three co-accused allegedly lured a 54-year-old victim into believing she had met a businessman online.
  • The four are linked to a syndicate which operated an online dating scam between 2017 and 2018.

A fourth person has been arrested for allegedly running an online dating ring, which lured unsuspecting victims and then scammed them of their money.

Hawks spokesperson Zinzi Hani said the unit arrested the 30-year-old woman on Wednesday. She is scheduled to appear in court on 23 March.

"The suspect, with her three co-accused, allegedly lured a 54-year-old victim into believing that she had met a businessman online  and developed a relationship with the victim, before they fleeced her out of her money, to help her online lover overcome business related challenges," Hani said.

"Her co-accused, Gcobisa Sintu, 35, and Tando Magwevana, 36, who were arrested in 2019, have since appeared in the Port Elizabeth and East London Magistrate's Courts respectively on 25 and 26 October 2019 soon after their arrests."

ALSO READ | ‘I scammed a scammer’ - How this Cape Town woman got back at her lying, scheming online dating match

According to the Hawks, another accused, Luyanda Bacela, 34, was arrested in Belhar in Cape Town on 15 October 2019, after a warrant of arrest was issued.  

Bacela appeared in the Specialised Commercial Crimes Court in Bellville on 16 October 2019, facing charges of fraud worth R844 000.

Bacela is currently out on R5 000 bail, while Magwevana is out on R1 000 bail. 

Sintu was released on a warning. 

"The 30-year-old  suspect, who was arrested on Wednesday, is expected to appear alongside her three co-accused at the Specialised Commercial Crimes Court in Bellville on 13 April 2021," Hani added.

Hani said the four are believed to be linked to a syndicate which operated an online dating scam between 2017 and 2018.


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