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By Siphumelele Khumalo

Journalist


Man arrested for raping and stealing from women he seduced on social media

Police have since warned the public not to fall prey to these criminals who forge likeable identities and target vulnerable and unsuspecting victims.


A 23-year-old man will appear at the Matsulu Periodical Court on Thursday, in Mpumalanga, after he was arrested for raping and stealing belongings of women he met on social media.

According to the South African Police Service (SAPS), in 2021, the man allegedly enticed the women, proposed a relationship, arranged to meet them in secluded places, then raped and robbed them.

Investigation

“The incidents were reported to the police and the dockets were assigned to a team of investigators from Family Violence, Child Protection and Sexual Offences Unit (FCS) in Pienaar, who investigated and discovered that there was a possible serial rapist on the loose,” said SAPS in a statement.

“They then traced and arrested the man in September 2021, at Matsulu. The suspect was charged for contravention of the Immigration Act after it was discovered that he did not have valid documents to be in South Africa, as well as four counts of rape and three for robbery.”

Stern warning against con-artists

Police have since warned the public not to fall prey to these criminals who forge likeable identities and target vulnerable and unsuspecting victims.

“Some end up being victims of fraud, robberies, kidnappings, rapes as well as murder as a result of these convincing tactics. In spite of the public being cautioned concerning these practices, many continue to be pounced by perpetrators who masquerade as authentic individuals yet they are not.”

Different plots and tricks

SAPS warned that another creative scam of defrauding their victims is informing some victims that there is an inheritance left by their unknown family members. Once the victim is hooked, an amount of money will be demanded for administration purposes in order to release the funds.

Another similar manner of tricking victims is false competitions and buying under-priced expensive vehicles or household items advertised cheaply on social media.

Always be vigilant

The provincial commissioner of the SAPS in Mpumalanga, Lieutenant general Manamela has further advised members of the public to be vigilant when using social media platforms as perpetrators take advantage of these channels to prey on their victims.

“There is nothing wrong with social media but there is something wrong with people who are using it to wrongly enrich themselves,” he said.

ALSO READ: Online anonymity couldn’t hide Facebook rapist – here’s how he was caught

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Crime scam South African Police Service (SAPS)