Financial crime: South African fraud gang dismantled

The suspects allegedly bought luxury vehicles with the proceeds of their crimes.

INTERPOL’s Global Financial Crime Task Force (IGFCTF) in collaboration with the South African’s Hawks Serious Commercial Crimes Unit and US Secret Service agents dismantles South African fraud gang and a Nigerian organized crime syndicate believed to be the gang behind romance scams, using fake online identities to lure vulnerable men and women to transfer money. Romance scams generate millions of US dollars worldwide. The operation was part of a global initiative under the framework of INTERPOL’s Global Financial Crime Task Force (IGFCTF), where 14 countries including South Africa and the United States work closely together to tackle the global threat of cyber enabled financial crime.

The multi-agency unit IGFCTF, was set up to coordinate international response to financial crime. Commending the collaborative work of the multi-disciplinary team which led to the arrests, Hawks head Lt-Gen Godfrey Lebeya said: “Organized criminal groups should know law enforcement agencies are collaborating on an international level to dismantle criminal networks.”

The Johannesburg operation is one of several global operations under the framework of IGFCTF where law enforcement authorities are working together to crack down on West African fraud syndicates targeting individuals and businesses worldwide.  Since its creation in January, the Centre has helped INTERPOL member countries intercept more than EUR 4.5 million tied to business email compromise (BEC) and romance frauds. Click here to read the full story.

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