Crime News

Woman scammed of R844k by catfish she met on Tinder

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CAPE TOWN, South Africa – Eastern Cape and Western Cape police have arrested three suspects linked to an online dating scam which saw a woman allegedly duped of more than R840 000.

Police arrested suspects in Port Elizabeth and East London last week, and in Cape Town, almost two weeks ago. 

It is alleged that a syndicate consisting of two male suspects and Cape Town based woman, worked together to lure a 54-year-old victim to part with her money. 

The suspects are alleged to have scammed the woman of parting with her money under the guise that she had met a successful businessman.

When the victim and the suspects developed a relationship online, they are accused of allegedly tricking her into parting with her money to assist the online lover with business challenges, under the pretence the money would be paid back. 

The money was paid in 2017 and 2018, police said.

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Police said Gcobisa Sintu, 33, Tando Magwevana, 34, and Luyanda Bacela, 32, all appeared at the Port Elizabeth Magistrates Court, East London Magistrates Court and the Specialised Commercial Crime in Bellville – respectively. 

Western Cape police spokesperson Lieutenant Colonel Philani Nkwalase said Bacela was facing fraud charges to the tune of R 844 000.  

“She is currently out on R5000 bail and will be back in court on the 11th November 2019 for legal representation,” said Nkwalase.

He said Sintu and Magwevana had been released on warning and would appear before the special commercial crimes court next week.

None of the money has been recovered.

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