Friday, February 23, 2024

Liberian fugitive extradited from South Africa

A Liberian cyber crime suspect, Joseph Jon Ballout, who skipped the country into South Africa while on bail has been handed back to Botswana authorities by their South African counterparts.

He was among the first suspects to be charged under the cyber crime and computer related crime Act of 2007{cap 08:06} under the laws of Botswana and failed to appear before the magistrate on several occasions.

Late last year, Ballout fled to Lehurutshe in South Africa where he has been allegedly hiding.

Botswana police received a tip off about his whereabouts after they had shared information with their South African counterparts, leading to his arrest.

Detective Assistant Superintendent Maikaelelo Chepete of the Serious Crime Squad confirmed that Botswana police received a Liberian suspect from their South African counterparts. He had been charged for cyber crime in Botswana.

Chepete explained that Ballout had been already arraigned before the Gaborone Village Magistrate court and was granted bail before skipping the country.

“During our intensive search for his whereabouts, we received a tip off that the suspect was spotted in Lehurutshe in North West Province South Africa,” he said.

Chepete further indicated that Ballout was arrested and the extradition process began. He strongly warned suspects who are on bail to always abide by their bail conditions, adding that if they flee, the law would catch up with them.

Ballout together with co-accused persons Kgosana Sech Tladi and Thabo Ariel Tsholedi, both South Africans and Thabo Manko Molefe of Moditshane are facing three counts relating to  cyber crime after they were found in-possession  of  automated machine card scamming device as well as a computer set.


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