In a remarkable feat of teamwork and rapid response, a joint effort between members of our Special Operations Team and Durban North SAPS Crime Prevention Unit has led to the capture of suspects involved in a sophisticated fraud and theft scam.
The incident sheds light on a cunning scheme that targeted unsuspecting buyers from other provinces seeking to acquire vehicles within the Durban region.
The suspects’ modus operandi encompassed setting up meeting points with potential buyers, and in some instances, they went the extra mile by collecting victims from the airport, an initial step that left victims already impressed by their dedication. During these encounters, the suspects skillfully presented the vehicles, going so far as to grant the victims the privilege of test-driving them. To solidify their credibility, the suspects offer a lift to the victims to various banks, where substantial sums of money were withdrawn in preparation for the intended vehicle purchase. However, the true pinnacle of their scheme unfolded during a seemingly ordinary lunch, as the suspects, having ingratiated themselves with their victims, vanished without a trace with the money the victims had given them. This audacious disappearing act magnificently showcased the suspects’ proficiency in manipulation and deceit, leaving the unsuspecting victims both fooled and stranded.
At approximately 13h10 yesterday, vigilant members of our Special Operations Team spotted a vehicle which was wanted by Westville SAPS Detectives on a Fraud and Theft case where the suspects were using the same modus operandi, that dates back to the 4th July 2023.
The vehicle was spotted at a well-known shopping mall in the La Lucia area. As the suspects exited the mall and noticed our team members they immediately attempted to flee at high speed. A determined high-speed chase ensued, culminating in the successful apprehension of the suspects in the residential area of Champion Place, Durban North.
Durban North SAPS Crime Prevention Unit arrived on scene within minutes to assist.
Upon conducting a search of the suspects’ vehicle, a substantial sum of R195,000 in cash was discovered.
Subsequent interviews with the occupants of the vehicle unveiled a meticulously orchestrated scheme. The suspects posed as sellers, targeting potential vehicle buyers from the Free State region who were in the vehicle with the suspects who had just handed over their money to the suspects to purchase a vehicle not knowing they have been scammed.
The suspects and the suspects vehicle used in a commission of crime have been transported to Durban North SAPS for a comprehensive investigation and processing. Prompt notification of the arrest was extended to the Westville SAPS Detectives, who are actively participating in the ongoing investigation.
Beyond the apprehension of suspects, this incident underscores the significance of remaining vigilant and cautious during transactions, particularly those involving unfamiliar parties.
The Durban North SAPS Crime Prevention Unit is deserving of accolades for their swift response and unwavering professionalism on scene. Their steadfast dedication to upholding community safety serves as an inspiring example.
The suspects are believed to be involved in numerous cases of fraud and theft within the Durban area, additionally the suspects vehicle was fitted with false number plates and the vin of the vehicle has also been tampered with. The vehicle is suspected to be stolen however this will all be investigated further by the SAPS.