The suspect, who allegedly swindled a woman out of almost R2m, was arrested during a church service.

A suspect accused of swindling a woman out of R1.9m was arrested in Sandton on March 20.

According to provincial Hawks spokesperson Captain Ndivhuwo Mulamu, the 40-year-old accused is the second person to be arrested in connection with an alleged online love scam.

“It is alleged that between December 2016 and January 2018, the complainant met a ‘potential partner’ on social media who introduced himself as ‘Mr Allen Grey’ a supposed prominent businessman in the Western Cape.”

Mulamu added that after they started dating, the suspect allegedly began borrowing money from the complainant, stating that his bank accounts were hacked.

“The money was reportedly transferred into different bank accounts, including R857 000 into [the suspect’s] business bank account.”

The complainant became suspicious and reported the matter to the Hawks’ Serious Commercial Crimes Unit.

“Authorities successfully secured a warrant of arrest against all positively linked perpetrators on this matter. A multidisciplinary-approach-driven operation was conducted by the Hawks’ Serious Commercial Crime Investigation and the Tactical Operation Management Services in Sandton, where [the suspect] was arrested during a church service,” said Mulamu.

The suspect, charged with fraud and money laundering, appeared in the Palm Ridge Specialised Commercial Crimes Court on March 22. He was remanded in custody pending the investigation.

Major General Ebrahim Kadwa commended the investigating team for the determination and passion displayed when tracing the accused.

“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.”

Kadwa cautioned members of the public seeking romance online to remain vigilant at all times. “Perpetrators out there may lure the unsuspecting and vulnerable romance seekers online for exploitation purposes as well,” he concluded.

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