Days after meeting a Gauteng woman online, Omotese Ebor, who goes by the name ‘Mr Allen Grey’, claimed his bank accounts were hacked and began borrowing money.
A 40-YEAR-old man, who goes by the alias “Mr Allen Grey”, was arrested for fraud and money laundering by the Directorate for Priority Crime Investigation (Hawks) in Gauteng during a church service in Sandton on Sunday.
He had allegedly swindled R1.9 million from a woman.
Omotese Ebor, who is also known as Tessy or Mr Allen Grey, posed as a prominent businessman in the Western Cape.
Provincial Hawks spokesperson Captain Ndivhuwo Mulamu, said it was alleged that the complainant met a potential partner on social media who introduced himself as Mr Allen Grey between December 2016 and January 2018.
Mulamu said that a few days after they started dating, the accused began continuously borrowing money from the complainant.
“He reportedly borrowed approximately R1.9 million for the stated period, stating that his bank accounts were hacked,” she said.
The money was reportedly transferred into various bank accounts, including R857,000 into Ebor’s business bank account.
“Guided by her suspicions, the complainant reported the matter to the Hawks’ Serious Commercial Crime Investigation in Johannesburg for further probing,” said Mulamu.
The Hawks said authorities successfully secured a warrant of arrest against all positively linked perpetrators in the matter.
“A multidisciplinary operation was conducted by the Hawks’ Serious Commercial Crime Investigation and the Tactical Operation Management Services in Sandton, where Ebor was arrested during a church service.”
Mulamu said the accused appeared in the Palm Ridge Specialised Commercial Crimes Court on Tuesday, on charges of fraud and money laundering.
“The court remanded Ebor into custody, pending an investigation.”
The Hawks said the first accused, a female suspect, was traced earlier this year by authorities.
Mulamu said Ebor had given the complainant different bank accounts and R70,000 was also deposited into Fortune Nomfusi’s account.
“Authorities successfully traced the first accused, Fortune Nomfusi (31) in Makhaza, Khayelitsha in the Western Cape, relating to the same allegations, and apprehended her. She has since been granted R3,000 bail by the same court,” said Mulamu.
The Gauteng Provincial Head of the Hawks, Major General Ebrahim Kadwa, cautioned members of the public who were seeking romance online to always be vigilant about criminals hiding behind the name of love.
“Perpetrators out there may lure the unsuspecting and vulnerable romance seekers online for exploitation purposes as well,” he said.
Kadwa commended the investigation team: “This was never an easy task for authorities to trace down the accused but, through their commitment, we managed to secure a warrant of arrest.”
Earlier this month, IOL reported that Ugandan Amon Namara, 39, dubbed the “South African Tinder Swindler”, was charged with fraud, money laundering and theft for conning at least three women out of their money in Johannesburg.
Namara reportedly made off with jewellery, clothes and thousands of rand. One woman was allegedly conned out of R3 million.
Meanwhile, during the same period, IOL reported that South African businesswoman Tasneem Moosa, dubbed “the holiday swindler” and who is the chief executive of Hello Darlings, allegedly booked fake holidays at luxurious destinations across the world for her SA clients but never delivered on the agreements.
About 2,000 people lost more than R100 million.
Moosa subsequently announced that she was advised to liquidate her company in order to pay back the money.