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Hawks arrest two more suspects over online dating scams

Hawks arrest two more suspects over online dating scams.
Hawks arrest two more suspects over online dating scams.
Image: 123RF/pixelbliss

The Hawks have arrested a man and a woman for allegedly defrauding several vulnerable and unsuspecting women through an online dating scam.

The pair made a brief appearance in the Cape Town Regional Court on Wednesday.

"During the arrest‚ the team seized a vehicle‚ cell phones‚ bank cards and statements suspected to be the proceeds of crime‚" Captain Philani Nkwalase said in a statement.

The case against the duo was postponed to August 21 for a bail application. This is the second case relating to alleged dating scams reported by police this week.

A 27-year-old man living in Cape Town appeared in the Bellville Magistrate’s Court on Monday. His case was postponed to August 27 for a formal bail application.

"It is alleged that the suspect forms part of a syndicate operating around Cape Town. Their modus operandi reportedly includes using fake profiles on the online-based dating sites to lure victims‚" the Hawks said earlier this week.

The Hawks allege that the suspects would engage in email and cell phone conversations with the victims and trick them into sending them money and gifts.

"Several electronic equipment that includes laptops‚ smart phones‚ bank cards‚ and documents of a shipment on transit from a victim in Australia‚ were seized."

In a separate and unrelated case‚ Nkwalase said four suspects appeared in the Specialised Commercial Court in Bellville on Wednesday. They were all charged for vehicle finance fraud after submitting fraudulent documents that aided a recruited client to obtain vehicle finance worth over R175‚000.

The vehicle was purchased at a car dealership in Strand in April 2014. They were released on R5‚000 bail and are expected to be back in court on September 28.

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