Nigerian woman arrested during church service in South Africa for allegedly defrauding woman of N53m in online romance scam

A Nigerian woman, Omotese Ebor, 40, has been arrested by South Africa’s Priority Crimes Investigation Directorate (Hawks) in a major breakthrough following a ‘romance scam’ in which an unnamed woman been scammed out of nearly 2 million rand (53 million naira).

It is alleged that between December 2016 and January 2018, the unsuspecting victim met a ‘potential partner’ on social media who introduced himself as ‘Mr Allen Grey’ and claimed to be a prominent businessman in the Western Cape.

“The Priority Crimes Investigation Branch in Gauteng is pleased with the breakthrough regarding the online dating scam in the country which resulted in an additional arrest on Sunday March 20 in Sandton,” the Gauteng spokesperson said. Hawks, Captain Ndivhuwo Mulamu.

The defendant, Eboh, posing as Allen Gray, allegedly borrowed around 1.9 million rand during this period, claiming that “his” bank accounts were hacked, Mulama said.

“The money was reportedly transferred to different bank accounts, including R857,000 to Ebor’s business bank account. Guided by her suspicions, the complainant reported the matter to the Hawks’ Serious Business Crimes Inquiry in Johannesburg for further investigation. »

The authorities have managed to obtain an arrest warrant for all those positively connected to the case.

An operation focused on a multidisciplinary approach was carried out by the Hawks’ Serious Business Crimes Investigation and Tactical Operations Management Services (Toms) in Sandton, where Ebor was arrested during a church service.

“Ebor was later charged with fraud and money laundering. She appeared in Palm Ridge Specialty Commercial Crime Court on Tuesday, March 22. The court remanded Ebor in custody pending investigation,” Mulamu said.

Earlier this year, the other alleged perpetrator linked to the scam, Fortune Nomfusi, was tracked down and successfully arrested in Makhaza, Khayelitsha in the Western Cape.

Around R70,000 was reportedly transferred to Nomfusi’s bank account. Nomfusi was released on R3,000 bail.

Fortune Nomfusi

Meanwhile, the head of the Hawks in Gauteng, Major General Ebrahim Kadwa praised the investigation team for the determination and passion displayed in the search for the accused.

“It was never easy for the authorities to find the accused, but thanks to their commitment, we managed to obtain arrest warrants.

“We would like to warn the public seeking romance online to always be vigilant against potential criminals behind the name of love. Abusers out there can also lure unsuspecting and vulnerable love seekers online. for exploitation,” Kadwa said.