Criminals turn to dating sites to lure victims to notorious Sunnyside

Criminals have turned to cyber space to prowl for potential robbery victims with promises of sex in the notorious suburb of Sunnyside‚ East of the Pretoria city centre.

According to police‚ the criminals use women to pose as prostitutes or as people looking for lovers on dating sites to lure potential victims to the suburb where they are then robbed.

Police have confirmed that several cases of robbery under similar circumstances have been reported to the local police station

A 21-year-old woman believed to be part of the blind date robbery syndicate appeared briefly in the Pretoria Magistrate’s Court on Tuesday.

The suspect‚ Boitumelo Sekgwelea‚ was arrested early this month after she allegedly posed as a prostitute in an online advertisement and lured a 29-year-old Pretoria West man to her apartment in Sunnyside where he was then robbed by three men.

Shortly after allegedly handing over R300 to Sekgwelea for sex‚ the three men barged into the flat and robbed him of R400 and a Samsung S3 cellular phone. The men also took his bank cards and demanded his PIN code but his account was empty. Sekgwelea was arrested when police raided her flat after the incident.

Sekgwelea‚ who was granted R1‚500 bail‚ is yet to plead to a charge of robbery.

The case was postponed to August 22 for further investigation.

In another similar incident‚ in March‚ a 54-year-old Sandton man was robbed of R190‚000 after he was lured by a woman he had met on a dating website. The victim was accosted by three men while sitting in the woman’s flat and accused of sleeping with the wife of one of the men. He was threatened to hand over his bank card and PIN code to the three men‚ who then went on a shopping spree amounting to R190‚000 with his bank card while he was kept in the flat.

In yet another incident‚ also in March‚ Nigerian national‚ Clement Onyeica Oghonim‚ 27‚ was arrested and charged with assault with intent to cause grievous bodily harm‚ kidnapping‚ extortion and robbery with aggravating circumstances.

The victim was a 21-year-old man who had been lured by a woman he met on social media and set up a blind date at the McDonald’s in Sunnyside. The duo were sitting in the victim’s car when three men pounced‚ demanding money and bank cards from him but he had none. The victim’s brother was then called to pay a ransom amount to the suspects for the safe return the victim. On arrival in Sunnyside‚ the victim’s brother alerted police patrolling the area and Oghonim was caught trying to flee.

Oghonim is due to appear in the Pretoria Magistrate’s Court on August 3.

Sunnyside is infamous for its abundant night clubs and gambling spots and is notorious for its high crime rate‚ drug peddling and prostitution.


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