FBI apply to extradite Nigerian suspects dem arrest for romance scam for South Africa

On close up view of one man hands in plastic handcuffs

Getty Images
Believe be say many of di victims na widows and divorcees

Eight Nigerian men wey dem accuse of one internet dating scam don dey charged to one South African court afta one massive international operation wey involve di FBI and Interpol.

Authorities for di US, wia di investigation originate and most of di alleged victims dey, don already apply for dia extradition.

Dem accuse dem of defrauding more dan 100 victims of almost $7m (£5m) in total over di past decade.

Dem neva comment on di charges.

Dis na di biggest of dis kain bust for South Africa, according to police spokeswoman Col Katlego Mogale.

Dem arrest di suspects, aged between 33 and 52, for Cape Town on Tuesday afta one legal assistance request from di US.

Tori be say na di FBI and US Secret Service lead di investigation and work wit South African authorities, including di elite police unit, di Hawks.

Di men dey wanted for Texas and New Jersey for different kain offences, including conspiracy to commit wire and mail fraud, money-laundering and aggravated identity theft.

For opposing bail, prosecutor Robin Lewis allege say di men na members of di Black Axe, one transnational organise crime syndicate wey originate from Nigeria, and dia specialities include laundering money through different kain accounts.

Di state argue say di men na flight risk because dem still get access to accounts dem allegedly use.

Di suspects go face 20 years in jail if dem convict dem.

Woman at a laptop

Getty Images
Believe be say many of di victims na widows and divorcees

How di suspects dey catch dia victims

Di allegation be say dem dey catch dia victims through dating sites dey use fake identities.

Di victims, wey mostly be vulnerable widows or divorcees from around di world, go tink say dem dey genuine romantic relationships.

Col Mogale say once di suspects “don already enta di victims, dem go allegedly cook up different kain stories about how dem need money- like tax to release inheritance, essential overseas travel, ogbonge debt, etc – and den use mago-mago collect money from victims”.

“Di fraudsters go intimidate and berate dia victims, ruin dia lives and den disappear,” she tok.

One neighbour of two of di suspects, wey no wan mention im name tell BBC say im shock to hear di two brothers alleged be members of one Nigerian crime gang.

Dem dey friendly and no dey bring wahala to di area. One of di brother dey married to one South African citizen,” im tok.

“Once a week, about 10 luxury cars go arrive and leave again in a few hours. Dem be ogbonge cars like one 2021 Mercedes Benz, one Jeep and one Ferrari.

From di way dem dey dress, you fit tell say dem get money.”

Na sound of dogs wey dey bark bin wake di neighbour up wen dem raid di brothers house on Tuesday

Na like 60 men from various police units spend about six hours dey collect evidence for di properties.

Dem also raid seven oda properties for di same neighbourhood.

Oga Lewis say some of di men no dey lawfully for South Africa since dia passports don expire.

Im also argue say if dem free di men on bail dem fit tamper wit evidence digitally.

One full bail application don set for next Tuesday and Thursday pending one extradition hearing.

South Africa TimeLive report say di Hawks still dey search for one other man connected to di case.