Three men have been arrested in connection with the disappearance of a KwaZulu-Natal teacher’s R1.8m pension payout at the beginning of this year, police said on Tuesday…
The 57-year-old teacher was allegedly scammed out of the money by her boyfriend, who she wanted to marry, and his co-conspirators, according to police.
Police spokesperson Captain Nqobile Gwala told News24 that the boyfriend was not among the suspects arrested for theft on Monday, but the police were looking for him. The arrests are the result of an intense investigation and awareness campaign initiated after the teacher reported the matter.
The three, aged between 28 and 32, were arrested in Pinetown, west of Durban, while they were looking for a place to rent.
Gwala said during the police’s awareness campaign, the area’s landlords were given the description of the suspects and were asked to contact the police if they came across people fitting the description.
“The community was also aware of the scam. The suspects had the same modus operandi. They would ask their victims to resign from work with a promise to help them start a business and disappear with the money,” Gwala said.
The suspects, who are believed to be working with the teacher’s boyfriend, first asked the teacher to pay R20 000 for “cleansing water” for her and her boyfriend so they could get married.
“In May 2018, her boyfriend advised her to resign so that they could start a business. Indeed, she resigned and when she received her pension payout she gave it all to the boyfriend and his allies,” Gwala said.
They then vanished with her money, she said.
Pinetown police have appealed to members of the community who might have fallen victim to the same scam to come forward. They can contact Lieutenant Colonel Mwelase on 083 661 0358.