Cyber syndicate in court this week – report


Fifty-four people who were involved in a cross-continental cyber syndicate that has stolen at least R15 million from South Africans, will appear in the Nigel Magistrate’s court on Tuesday, reports City Press. The accused face multiple charges of fraud, theft, money laundering and racketeering.

The newspaper reports that Hawks investigators believe they have blown the lid on the syndicate’s complex web of SIM swaps and identity theft, after the operation already started unravelling last year.

The state alleges that the 54 are part of a syndicate that has defrauded thousands of people through phishing scams, opening false store accounts and accessing credit worth hundreds of thousands of rands using cloned identities, reports City Press.

The alleged leaders of the syndicate reportedly have several identities and use a number of passports from SA, Ghana, Nigeria and the Democratic Republic of the Congo. Hawks captain Oscar Mopedi reportedly said the case was one of the biggest, most sophisticated and elaborate cons he has dealt with in his long career.
“When they appear in court and when the charge sheet is read to them, it will all look like the script of a Hollywood blockbuster,” Mopedi is quoted as saying. “It is big, very big and we suspect that they have links to other crime families operating in other countries.”