Durban man arrested for allegedly fleecing victims of millions in housing scam

01 September 2021 - 07:34 By suthentira govender
A Durban man has been arrested for allegedly defrauding victims of about R18m in a housing scam.
A Durban man has been arrested for allegedly defrauding victims of about R18m in a housing scam.
Image: 123RF/BELCHONOK

A Durban man’s eight-year crime spree came to end when police arrested him for allegedly defrauding unsuspecting victims of about R18m by claiming he was building houses at cost price and making off with their deposits.

Police spokesperson Capt Nqobile Gwala said the man was traced to East London where he was arrested and charged with fraud.

He and five women were expected to appear in the Durban magistrate’s court on Tuesday to face fraud charges.

“It is alleged a 48-year-old man who is the mastermind behind the scam would post an advert in newspapers claiming his company was building houses at a reduced fee.

“He would defraud the unsuspecting clients and disappear after a deposit was made.”

Gwala said the man was conducting his alleged fraudulent business in Durban central, Pietermaritzburg and Kokstad, “where he had allegedly defrauded people since 2013”.

“The five females were assisting him in running the business around the province. He moved to East London to continue his dirty deeds,” Gwala said.

She said the suspect was also wanted for cases in Ladysmith, Richards Bay, Newcastle, Berea, Amanzimtoti and Scottburgh.

“Most of the companies he was operating were registered in the unsuspecting young women’s names and they would later become his girlfriends. The cash that was stolen is around R18m.

“We are appealing to people who are victims of a similar scam to contact the investigating officer, Capt Ngcobo, on ‪031 325 4105 or Crime Stop ‪on 08600 10111.”

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