A Nigerian, Muyiwa Obafemi, on Tuesday appeared before the Bellville Specialised Commercial Crime Court in Cape Town on charges of fraud through an online dating scam.
According to the prosecutor, Juan Agulhas, Obafemi, 35, promised his victim, Kuo-Sen Liu Hendrika, R16m for financially helping a man living in New Zealand, who wanted to transfer trust money to his daughter Joy Dlodlo in Durban.
Obafemi was said to have allegedly created online profiles of wealthy people and groomed vulnerable victims before asking for money for false emergencies.
The profiles included photographs and personal information, to shored up credibility, so that he could gain the victim’s trust.
According to the charge sheet, the victim posed as Joy Dlodo and started chatting online with a woman on the website, www.zoosk.com.
‘Dlodlo’ falsely informed him that her father Jacob was in New Zealand and needed to transfer money to her, but that she needed financial help to clear the money. Dlodlo claimed to be caring for her mother in Durban.
It was gathered that bogus agent named “Dennis” (Obafemi) contacted the victim on behalf of Dlodlo. A bogus home affairs official named Thuletu Mtseke falsely informed the victim that R21 740 was needed to ensure Obafeni’s safe travel to Dlodlo, with the trust money.
The victim paid the money, and a bogus customs official undertook to help provide an anti money laundering certificate needed to “release” the money that Obafeni was “taking” to Dlodlo.
For the certificate, the customs official asked for, and was paid, R35 690.
The victim was allegedly duped into paying an additional four amounts – US1300 for stamp duty, and R697 000, R35 000 and R15 000 – into Obafeni’s personal account.
According to the charge sheet, Obafemi was arrested in Maitland, Cape Town, after asking for yet another payment into his personal account. After the arrest, the alleged victim did not hear from Joy Dlodlo again.