Lonely hearts scam that snared American women 'made R4m for Cape Town mastermind'

30 July 2019 - 17:46 By KHANYISA TYELELA
An alleged Cape Town-based fraudster has been charged with stealing more than R4m from members of an internet dating agency.
An alleged Cape Town-based fraudster has been charged with stealing more than R4m from members of an internet dating agency.
Image: iStock / Mediaphotos

A man nabbed in a joint operation between the Hawks and the FBI for allegedly defrauding unsuspecting victims of more than R4m through an online dating scam was hauled before the Cape Town magistrate's court on Tuesday.

Christiano Ogbeifun, 48, is facing fraud and money-laundering charges. According to Hawks spokesperson Capt Philani Nkwalase, his alleged victims were from the US. He was arrested on Friday.

"It is alleged that the suspect lured mostly US-based victims from a dating site," said Nkwalase.

After building a certain level of trust the victims were tricked into paying money into the suspect's business account in the belief that the money was going to be paid back.

"The Hawks and the FBI linked the suspect to over R4.1m transferred to a South African-based company owned by the suspect."

The matter was postponed to August 5.


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