Photo source: Flickr
Photo source: Flickr
The Directorate for Priority Crime Investigation (DPCI), also known as the Hawks, managed to arrest a 54-year-old man, just as he was about to flee the country on Saturday, for ‘sextortion.’
The man, Chinedu Jonathan Madueke, faces charges of fraud and extortion involving an online dating scam. He was nabbed at the OR Tambo International Airport.
“The accused’s apprehension was effected on Saturday, 14 May 2022 by the Hawks after he was positively identified as a wanted suspect by authorities at OR Tambo International Airport departing to Kinshasa, in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) for leisure,” said Hawks spokesperson Captain Ndivhuwo Mulamu.
Madueke made an appearance at the Alexandra Magistrate’s Court on Monday, 16 May 2022 – just days after his arrest. The Hawks allege that in March 2020, he went on an online dating site, posing as a female Italian model named ‘Ruth’, and started an online relationship with an unsuspecting man. They soon exchanged nude photographs of each other, which is where the story took a dark turn.
“A few months later, the complainant alleged that Madueke demanded an enticement of approximately USD 500 000 from him to avoid his nude video from being leaked on social media. The matter was reported to the Serious Commercial Crime Investigation in Johannesburg for investigation,” Mulamu further said.
This is what is now referred to as sextortion: when someone threatens to distribute your private material if you don’t give them money.
A warrant for Madueke’s arrest was issued by the authorities, who then circulated him on the local and international boarder movement control system. This explains why they were able to flag him when he tried to leave for the DRC.
“Madueke’s attempt to flee the country failed on Saturday subsequent to the system that alerted authorities of his outstanding warrant of arrest. He was immediately detained to account for the alleged online dating scam which happened about two years ago”Hawks spokesperson Captain Ndivhuwo Mulamu
He has been remanded in custody pending investigation and is back in the dock on 23 May.