Eight suspected members of a global crime consortium have been arrested in South Africa, and accused of collaborating in cash laundering schemes, monetary fraud, and internet-based romance scams.
The boys, who all hail from Nigeria and are aged between 33 and 52 years outdated, have been arrested throughout raids in Cape City by the Hawks, the elite division of the South African police which targets organised crime.
Legislation enforcement businesses consider that the lads discovered their supposed victims by way of courting websites, and made contact utilizing false identities. Their victims, sometimes aged home windows or divorcees, believed that they have been in a real romantic relationship – however have been really being duped with sob tales into handing over typically massive sums of cash.
In accordance with Hawks spokeswoman Col Katlego Mogale, the arrests got here following a joint operation with the FBI, the US Secret Service, and Interpol:
“All suspects have been arrested throughout a large-scale operation within the early morning hours of as we speak and will likely be charged with monetary crimes, together with conspiracy to commit wire/mail fraud/mail and cash laundering. The suspects on this investigation are alleged to have ties to a transnational organised crime syndicate originating in Nigeria.”
In accordance with the South African authorities, the arrested males are accused of defrauding over 100 victims of a complete of R100 million (nearly US $7 million) over the previous decade.
Though the police didn’t point out it by identify, sccording to native media stories, the lads are believed to be members of the Black Axe organised crime group which is usually concerned in prostitution, human and narcotics trafficking, in addition to cybercrime.
The arrests in South Africa come lower than a month after dozens of suspected Black Axe operatives have been rounded up in Texas, and accused of equally preying on aged victims by way of courting web sites and interesting in Enterprise E-mail Compromise assaults in opposition to organisations.
The charged males face 20 years in jail if convicted.
Romance scammers reap the benefits of the weak, wherever they is perhaps based mostly on the planet. With so many lonely hearts scouring the net for love, there is a seemingly unending provide of potential victims and loads of heartless criminals all too joyful to take benefit.