South Africa’s Directorate for Priority Crime Investigation Unit, The Hawks, suspect that the 54-member cyber crime syndicate due back in court today, are much bigger than they seem.
If this case sounds a bit like the script of a Hollywood thriller, it is because it’s pretty close to it.
The 54-member syndicate, who have been arrested on multiple charges of fraud, theft, money laundering and racketeering, are apparently much bigger and better connected than initially thought.
Hawks investigator, Captain Oscar Mopedi, told reporters: “It is big, very big and we suspect that they have links to other crime families operating in other countries.”
The syndicate allegedly used false I.D’s from various different African countries in order to pull off their R15 million phishing scam which include sim swaps and identity thefts.
According to reports, the syndicate managed to clear R6.6 million out of 21 accounts on a single day.
It is quite unnerving to think that a syndicate operating in South Africa could possibly have ties to international crime families and Mafia groups.
Even Captain Mopedi believes that this case is fiction-like and agrees that it sounds more like the plot of a film: “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,” he said.
The syndicate will appear in the Nigel Magistrate Court in Gauteng today.
This case serves as a reminder to all that cybercrime is still alive and well and that all of us should be extra cautious when when it comes to spending and managing our money online.