South African and US Officers Swoop on Fraud Gang
American and South African investigators have teamed up to crack down on fraud that is persistent in the latter country, recently arresting several members linked to a suspected fraud gang. The individuals arrested consisted of three South Africans and four Nigerians, and are believed to be linked to an infamous Nigerian business email compromise (BEC) syndicate. The individuals, currently residing in Johannesburg, were arrested by the Hawks Serious Commercial Crimes Unit and the US Secret Service. Interpol stated that the individuals arrested were between the ages of 25 and 42, and of the five three were women and four men.
The individuals are linked to at least one possible BEC scam that was responsible for conning a US based company out of $496,000 and an instance of romance fraud, in which a malicious actor catfishes an individual under the guise of romantic interest in order to steal funds. Local reports explaining the raids stated that the luxury vehicles present at the homes of those arrested were likely bought with the proceeds of the crimes. The gang has been linked to the famous Nigerian hacking group Black Axe, which is thought to be responsible for tens of millions of dollars in BEC losses.