Cars, laptops, motorbikes even coins – all fair game for con artists

MEAN MACHINE: The Honda 600 CBR that was advertised on Gumtree for R40 000
MEAN MACHINE: The Honda 600 CBR that was advertised on Gumtree for R40 000

Mukhtaar Achmat’s alleged victims are situated far and wide. Cellphones, cars, motorbikes, laptops and even a Mandela coin — some say they have lost hundreds of thousands of rands to the smooth talker.

In November, Yahya Dadabhay, of Vereeniging, sold his black BMW 135i to “Marcus Kirtsen” for R230 000 after advertising it on Gumtree.

Dadabhay, like so many others, received an SMS notification informing him that the money was in his account. After realising that he had allegedly been defrauded, and after reporting a case to the police, Dadabhay did his own research which led him to Achmat.

Fraud suspect Mark Michaels disappeared minutes before he was due to appear in the Port Elizabeth Magistrate's Court
Fraud suspect Mukhtaar Achmat disappeared minutes before he was due to appear in the Port Elizabeth Magistrate’s Court

“I went to his parents’ house in Fleurfhof a few times but his dad was not very helpful,” said Dadabhay.

He had coincidentally taken a photograph of Achmat, which he then posted to social media in an attempt to track him down. “Many people came forward claiming they had been conned by him.” Dadabhay’s matter is still under investigation and his vehicle was never recovered.

Chadwin Hendricks reported a case in Langlaagte in September last year after his nephew was allegedly conned out of his motorbike.

The Honda 600 CBR was advertised on Gumtree for R40 000. A Johannesburg man who asked not to be named alleged Achmat had made away with his gold Mandela coin worth R30 000 on February 24.

It is believed that there are close to 50 similar cases across the country.

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