Suspects from South Africa in a business email compromise (BEC) fraud case involving Microsoft have been arrested.
The Hawks worked with United States law enforcement to make the arrests. The men allegedly created a fake business email to buy 200 laptops at a value of around R4 million. They ordered these from the US with a delivery to Pretoria.
“On 28 November, the Hawks received information regarding another consignment of 140 laptops worth approximately R7.9 million which arrived at OR Tambo International Airport,” the South African Police Service (SAPS) said in a statement.
“The investigation team monitored the consignment and pounced on the syndicate members whilst they were offloading the alleged stolen property at a residential premises in Pretoria.”
The Hawks have warned the public that extreme caution is needed around organised crime. As these groups attack unsuspected businesses, even those smaller than Microsoft.
“The public needs to be extremely wary on the growing threat posed by unscrupulous organised crime networks who are targeting businesses and unsuspecting individuals. In recent years, BEC fraud scams are emerging as a challenge and the Hawks is committed to work in collaboration with local and international law enforcement agencies to detect, combat and respond to this phenomenon," said The Directorate for Priority Crime Investigation National Head, Lieutenant General Godfrey Lebeya.