Saturday, January 22, 2022

Batswana fraudsters swindle South African tycoons of millions

About eight suspected local fraudsters are at the centre of police investigations after they allegedly swindled millions from some South African businessmen, whom they had apparently invited to Botswana to apply for lucrative tenders.

Information passed to The Telegraph indicate that desperate South African business people have fallen victims to a well-established local criminal syndicate of fraudsters who apparently target South African business people who are hungry to win lucrative tenders in Botswana.

The fraudsters go to South Africa and present themselves as Botswana government representatives assigned to recruit foreign companies to Botswana to create employment for the locals. They will then buy the Government Gazette and select lucrative tenders that the South Africans would be interested in.

Detective Superintendent Chifana Toitoi of the Serious Crimes Squad, said that once the syndicate has identified the interested parties, they then produce fraudulent tender documents over which they ask advance payment of millions as security in order to secure the tenders.

“In one case, we impounded motor vehicles as well as furniture that had been acquired through cheating,” he said.

He urged those who might have fallen victims to the scam, especially South African nationals, to come forward and give a report.

“I assure them that they will not be arrested once they have reported their case because that will assist us to know how the syndicate works.”

It is understood that such millions are carried in suit cases and never declared at the border posts during entry into Botswana.

Toitoi said that that they are investigating several cases that involve some South African nationals, mainly business people, who have already been swindled of millions.

He said they have already questioned about eight suspects believed to be part of the criminal syndicate that targets South African nationals. Seven of the suspects are involved in a case in which a South African was cheated out of P2.7m while one is linked to a case in which close to a million was swindled from other South African business people.

He advised the public that tenders are never discussed in restaurants.

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