Charmer puts real 'swipe' into Grindr
Durban man said to use gay hook-up app to nick men's cash
There is little love lost for a flirtatious "conman" who used his devilish charm and gay hook-up platform Grindr to allegedly seduce men into parting with hundreds of thousands of rands in a scam that has spanned SA.
Those who swiped right for Sugan Naicker claim the 35-year-old former Chatsworth resident seduced them into complacency before offering discounted deals on telecoms investments, used cars and jewellery.
The silver-tongued Casanova is now being sought by police and a team of private investigators.
He told the Sunday Times in a phone conversation this week that he plans to pay back the money.
A Johannesburg man who had a dalliance with Naicker in 2016 - and who spoke on condition of anonymity - said his online crush had feigned an interest in his life.
"I met Sugan on Grindr and I somehow managed to exchange numbers with him. At first it was just casual chatting and small talk but I was in need of a car so he sent me a couple of links to cars which were on auction."
Naicker, he said, told him he'd worked at a bank and could purchase cars at massively discounted prices.
The man sent Naicker R44,000, which he had taken months to save, to buy a Volkswagen Golf Gti. That was the last he heard of Naicker, he said.
The Sunday Times has established that eight criminal cases have been opened against Naicker, with police confirming there is an active warrant for his arrest issued by Chatsworth magistrate's court.
Another victim, from Port Elizabeth, who lent Naicker R30,000, said he too had matched up with him on Grindr, in 2015.
"We started chatting and he sent me his number so we could chat via WhatsApp. We built a friendship over a period of about a month and along the line he came with an offer of some cellphone deal," said the man, who also did not want to be named.
"He asked me to lend him money so he could do some deal and in return I would get R180,000 back. The first time was R10,500, then R9,500 and then another R10,000.
"He always came up with excuses not to see me and he kept making promises about giving me my money back," he said.
After months passed and he saw no returns from Naicker, the man sought help from police and private investigators.
"I contacted him countless times trying to get my money out of him. Until today he has not paid a single cent.
"I opened a case against him and even contacted his parents and they wanted nothing to do with him."
When contacted by the Sunday Times on his cellphone, Naicker said he was in the process of paying off his debts and that he was busy sorting his life out.
"I know about all the cases and the warrant for my arrest but why should I hand myself over if I am going to pay back the money?" he asked.
"I am not a conman. I am trying to get my life on track," he said. He declined to reveal his location.
In a later response, he claimed that all cases against him had been withdrawn, denied he was a conman and said he was not on any gay site.
He threatened legal action if anyone went against him on social media.
Naicker's brother Ravendran said the family was aware of the criminal cases against his sibling and that they were estranged from him.
Private investigator Chad Thomas said he was investigating several cases of fraud against Naicker, dating back to 2006.
Police spokesperson Captain Nqobile Gwala confirmed Naicker had been linked to eight cases across the country and that he was being sought by detectives.
Grindr did not respond to queries.