Home South Africa News 3 arrested for business email compromise fraud scam of R11.9m worth of...

3 arrested for business email compromise fraud scam of R11.9m worth of laptops


Three men have been arrested for fraud-related charges and possession of the suspected stolen property on Tuesday.

According to Colonel Katlego Mogale, the suspects were arrested following an operation conducted by the Hawks’ Serious Commercial Crime Investigation Unit in Johannesburg in collaboration with U.S Law Enforcement Agencies.

The suspects, aged 31, 34, and 40, were arrested for their alleged involvement in the Business Email Compromise (BEC) fraud-related crime.

“During September this year, the suspects allegedly created a fraudulent business email order to purchase 200 laptops worth approximately R4 million from Microsoft in the USA, to be delivered in Pretoria.

“On 28 November, the Hawks received information regarding another consignment of 140 laptops worth approximately R7.9 million which arrived at OR Tambo International Airport. The investigation team monitored the consignment and pounced on the syndicate members whilst they were off-loading the alleged stolen property at residential premises in Pretoria,” said Mogale.

They appeared in the Pretoria Specialised Commercial Crimes Court on Thursday.

The Directorate for Priority Crime Investigation National Head, Lieutenant General Godfrey Lebeya welcomes these arrests and considers this a very significant breakthrough.

“The public needs to be extremely wary of the growing threat posed by unscrupulous organized crime networks who are targeting businesses and unsuspecting individuals. In recent years, BEC fraud scams are emerging as a challenge and the Hawks is committed to working in collaboration with local and international law enforcement agencies to detect, combat, and respond to this phenomenon.”

More arrests cannot be ruled out and the investigation continues.

-The Citizen

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