Nigerian National Arrested For ‘Defrauding’ An Elderly Woman Of R2 Million
On Monday, a 30-year-old Nigerian national who was arrested for his role in a romance scam appeared in the Stellenbosch Magistrate’s Court.
Roland Enuwese Esosa is accused of stealing R2 million from an elderly woman he met on the dating app Tinder. He was arrested last Wednesday in Northgate Mall in Roodepoort, Gauteng, and taken to Stellenbosch.
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He allegedly pretended to be Larry Cole, an American engineer. Esosa made up a story about why he needed money after establishing a relationship. The victim later paid R2 million over a six-month period.
He is accused of fraud and money laundering. Captain Bernard Adams of the Stellenbosch Detective division, John Alexander, lead investigator at Royal Investigations, and Sergeant Allister Marajh of the Stellenbosch Vispol division led the multi-disciplinary investigation.
“Royal Investigations were assigned to investigate a romance scam case amounting to R2 million,” explained Alexander.
“Our investigation led us to Northgate Mall in Roodepoort, Gauteng where we arrested Esosa. The Stellenbosch Detectives played a pivotal role, especially Captain Bernard Adams and Sergeant Allister Marajh. Immediately after the suspect was arrested he attempted to bribe the arresting officers with R500 000.00 for his release.”
He goes on to say that they discovered a BMW key in his possession, which led them to an expensive sports vehicle in the parking lot. Esosa offered the vehicle to the officials once more in order to secure his release.
“Unfortunately for him we still have honourable police officials who cannot be bribed,” said Alexander.
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“The suspect failed to provide a reasonable explanation as to how he acquired this expensive vehicle. A decision was taken to seize the vehicle subjected to further investigation.”
Esosa appeared briefly in Randburg Magistrate’s Court last Friday, where the police obtained a transit warrant to transport him to Stellenbosch.
According to the private investigator, Esosa is part of an organized crime ring that preys on vulnerable women looking for companionship.
“They live a lavish lifestyle with proceeds of crime, and they have never worked an honest day in their life.”
Alexander has been at the forefront of numerous romance scam cases and has devised a strategy for tracking and tracing these con artists.
He also believes Esosa is a member of the infamous criminal organization known as ‘Black Axe,’ also known as the ‘Neo Black Movement of Africa.’ The organization has a stronghold in Johannesburg, and their mode of operation consists of 419 scams, or romance scams.
“Royal Investigations has a host of information we gathered throughout our investigation to suggest Mr Esosa is indeed involved, if not one of the masterminds behind the Black Axe syndicate. He should face the full brunt of the law and all the assets he acquired through proceeds of crime should be forfeited as restitution for the victim.”
Captain Frederick Van Wyk, a police spokesperson, confirmed the arrest and appearance in court. “Suspect appeared in Stellenbosch Magistrate’s Court and the case was postponed for bail application next week.”
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