A man who admitted he conned desperate women out of R1.2million in an online dating scam has been sentenced to 12 years in prison.
However, the sentence for Ndubusi Onyebuchi Ifediora, 31, was wholly suspended for five years in the Bellville Specialised Commercial Crimes Court last week.
The Nigerian national was convicted of 16 counts of fraud as well as one count of contravening section 49 of the Immigration Act.
The court further ruled Ifediora pay over R500 000 into the Criminal Asset Recovery Account (CARA) to reimburse his victims for their losses.
Two of the women who are in their fifties are based in Texas, USA.
“He has also been deported to Nigeria as he was in the country illegally on a fraudulently acquired student visa,” says Hawks spokesman Captain Lloyd Ramovha.
Ifediora was arrested earlier this year at a West Beach apartment
following an execution of a search and seizure warrant.
“Several cellphones and laptops as well as documentary evidence were seized. At the time of his arrest, he managed to flush a mobile sim card down the toilet in a failed attempt to derail investigations,” says Ramovha.
“The sentence is a culmination of sterling detective work put in by the team from commercial unit of the Hawks, it is an open secret that cases of this nature are not easy to solve, we say well done to the team.”
And October being Cyber Crime Awareness Month, he also had a word of warning for internet users, saying cyber crime was “real”.
“If it looks and sounds too good to be true it usually is. Desist from responding to social media invitations, emails, SMS, etc. from unknown people,” he added.