- A police woman lost R3.7 million to a scammer she was in a relationship with.
- The man allegedly told the woman to leave her job so they could go into business together.
- The scammer has since disappeared, but police have arrested another man whom he claimed was his uncle.
The Hawks in Limpopo have arrested a 33-year-old man who allegedly pretended to be a prophet and worked with another man he claimed to be his nephew to swindle a top cop of R3.7 million.
The man, believed to be an Ugandan national, was expected to appear in the Polokwane Magistrate’s Court on Tuesday for fraud.
Colonel Matimba Maluleke said the victim was a police colonel in the province.
The victim is said to have been in a relationship with a foreign national who, in September last year, introduced her to the arrested man, whom he claimed was his uncle and a prophet.
“The duo [the boyfriend and his uncle] allegedly persuaded the victim to resign so that they could start a flourishing business.
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“The victim indeed resigned in November last year. When she received her pension payout of R3.7 million in February this year, she allegedly handed it to the [arrested man] so that he could pray for a successful business.”
The boyfriend then allegedly sent the victim on holiday for a few days.
“When she returned to the boyfriend’s apartment to check the progress, she found that he had already vacated.
The victim tried to reach the boyfriend on the phone, but he was unreachable. That’s when she realised that she had been scammed and reported the matter to the police.
The case was transferred to the Hawks’ Serious Commercial Crime unit in Polokwane for investigation.
“After conducting a thorough investigation, the suspect was successfully traced and arrested at Burgersfort Police Station, where he was already detained for allegedly committing a similar offence,” said Maluleke.
Early this year, Hawks in North West released the picture of another man who allegedly swindled a woman he met on a dating site called Badoo out of more than R2 million in pension funds.
Hawks spokesperson Captain Tlangelani Rikhotso said the 54-year-old woman and a man known as David Nkunda had met online and started dating shortly after.
The man suggested that they enter into a joint venture involving petrol stations, Rikhotso said.
“There was an agreement between them that he would resign from his alleged job and she would resign from hers.
“They would then take both their pension money and get into business. So, she went and resigned, and withdrew [her] money.”
The woman handed more than R2 million over to Nkunda from May to August 2022.
Only when she went to his house in Mahikeng, where she had visited him before, and saw that he had moved out, did she realise that she had been scammed and notified police.
Rikhotso said at the time: “There was no sign that he was ever there. They were in a relationship. To her, it was a genuine relationship and she did not know that he would rob her of her money.”