The 49-year-old is set to appear in Strand Magistrate’s Court on charges of fraud relating to a romance scam and theft.
- A man pretending to be a pilot has been arrested for a series of romance scams.
- He allegedly targeted women on social media sites, later requesting money from them.
- Police have since warned single people to be vigilant on online platforms.
A bogus pilot has been grounded after being taken into custody for a series of online romance scams.
The Western Cape man allegedly targeted women in their sixties on social media platforms, wooing them by telling them he was a pilot and asking them for money to release gifts he had bought for them.
Detectives attached to the Western Cape Commercial Crimes Unit arrested the 49-year-old and he is set to appear in Strand Magistrate’s Court on charges of fraud relating to a romance scam and theft.
“The members received information of a romance scam whereby the accused was targeting women in their sixties on a social media platform. According to reports, the accused would present himself as a pilot and promise love and visits to the victims.
“Western Cape police would like to warn the public of a trend where vulnerable victims are targeted on platforms where single people are seeking companionship and then fall prey to online scammers,” said police spokesperson Anelisiwe Manyana.
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Earlier this year, News24 reported that five people had been arrested for defrauding women on a dating website. One woman was defrauded of more than R3 million.
Pius Emokpe appeared in the Kimberley Magistrate’s Court on Thursday alongside his four co-accused – Lulama Dilimini, Shafwaan Fakier, Nomcebo Agrineth Sibisi and Juany Michaels.
The accused were charged with more than 140 counts of fraud and money laundering.
In an unrelated matter, Western Cape courts have been dealing with an extradition case involving eight men who are accused of fraud related to romance scams.
Perry Osagiede, Enorense Izevbiege, Franklin Edosa Osagiede, Osariemen Eric Clement, Collins Owhofasa Otughwor, Musa Mudashiru, Toritseju Gabriel Otubu and Prince Ibeabuchi Mark were arrested in Parklands, Cape Town, in 2021.
READ | Don’t fall for these online romance scams
Described by the FBI as a group of Nigerian men who form the Cape Town chapter of the Neo Black Movement of Africa, also known as Black Axe, they are wanted for trial in the US on charges of wire fraud conspiracy and money laundering conspiracy between 2011 and 2021.
They allegedly used social media, online dating websites and voice-over-internet protocol phone numbers to find and talk to victims in the US under various aliases including Alan Dupont, Philip Coughlan and Aiden Wilson.
Their targets thought they were in real romances when they shared sensitive pictures with the accused, who later threatened to distribute the sensitive materials if the targets refused payment requests.