South Africa News

Suspected scammer wanted since 2015 arrested

The 25-year-old man, Athule Masimini, arrested by the Directorate for Priority Crime Investigation (Hawks), for allegedly fleecing “vulnerable community members”, was released on R2 000 bail by the Palm Ridge Specialised Commercial Crimes Court.

Gauteng Hawks spokesperson Captain Ndivhuwo Mulamu said Masimini appeared in court on Tuesday, charged with fraud and money laundering.

“It is alleged that in August 2015, the accused, Athule Masimini, with his accomplice, Sikelela Trevor Masiso, 30, sent spam messages to vulnerable community members for loan approvals from a fictitious financial service provider, Bruma,” said Mulamu.

“Further investigation revealed that the suspects (Masimini and Masiso) allegedly demanded R55 000 as legal and administration fees from complainants in order for the R500 000 loan to be processed successfully.”

Months later, when the community members realized that the windfall was not coming, they reported the matter to authorities and were referred to the Hawks’ serious commercial crime investigation team in Pretoria.

“The investigation team successfully traced and apprehended Masiso in February 2019 at his home in Swaneville, Krugersdorp. He was sentenced to two years’ direct imprisonment on two counts of money laundering in February 2020,” said Mulamu.

“Masimini was arrested and charged with fraud and money laundering on Friday, 29 October in Lady Frere, Gqeberha. The court granted Masimini R2 000 bail and the case is postponed to 9 November for legal representation.”

In another case, Mulamu said the Lenasia Magistrate’s Court has remanded two men in custody following their court appearance on charges of murder, robbery with aggravated circumstances, extortion, corruption, kidnapping, possession of suspected stolen property, and theft.

Mulamu said it was alleged that a week ago, the accused, Jason Theodore Boyers, 25, and Shannon Kevin Smith, 48, contacted Frans Mazuze, 55, to meet at an arranged location.

“A missing person file was reported to the authorities by his family after Mazuze failed to return home.

“Mazuze’s body was later found at a nearby Kliptown field through a probe conducted by the police. Meanwhile, the suspects allegedly demanded a ransom of R20 000 in order to release Mazuze,” Mulamu said.

-IOL

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