Police save man from parting with R680 000 in fake diamond scam

A possible diamond scam in which an unsuspecting buyer almost parted with R680 000 in cash was foiled in Port Elizabeth yesterday.

Despite the seriousness of the offence, the victim declined to be named and refused to open a case, saying the crime had not yet been committed.

The 35-year-old suspect was not charged.

The drama unfolded yesterday morning when Captain Charmaine Badehorst received a tip-off from a security guard at the Walmer Park Shopping Centre that a man might have been tricked by well-known fraudsters.

The police said the suspect, who had been selling what he purported to be emeralds or diamonds, had convinced the buyer the gem was legitimate because he had SARS documents of a registered company that dealt with a mine in Zambia and got stones very cheaply.

Police spokesman Warrant Officer Alwin Labans said when the police got to the scene, they had noticed an “oldish white buyer” driving away in his silver Hyundai Tucson with the suspect.

Badehorst and a colleague had then looked for the vehicle. The two officers had asked Captain Karen Nel to check on particulars about the buyer in the computer system, based on his vehicle’s registration.

The police had then contacted his business, were given his cellphone number and had immediately phoned him.

“Nel warned him he was possibly in the middle of a scam,” Labans said.

“The buyer instead indicated he was returning to Walmer Park. Police officers [waited] for him, but his vehicle did not show up.

“The police then contacted him and pretended to be his daughter.

“The buyer said he had stopped at the Engen garage near the airport, where police found him and the suspected diamond seller in the car.”

The buyer indicated to them he intended to buy the gem because the suspect had told him another customer was prepared to pay R1.3-million for it.

“We want to warn the public not to think they can make a quick buck and then fall victim to scams,” Labans said.

“These criminals facilitate the deal, but later the buyer finds out his precious ’emeralds’ are glass.

“The victim was relieved that he had not handed over the money.”

It was learnt later that the suspect had previously been charged for fraud, robbery with a firearm and driving under the influence of alcohol.

One thought on “Police save man from parting with R680 000 in fake diamond scam

  • November 13, 2017 at 10:10 am
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    WOW I met a guy by the name Sipho and he introduced me to the “seller” who was Zambian and the “buyer” who was a lady called Vanessa (Minky). They made up a story about a man named Tshawe who cannot be their trader anymore because he is sick with diabetes and that I must pose as the other partner so that the buyer the seller does not get to see the seller so we can a bigger profit and the so called Sipho isn’t based here he is from Mpumalanga. luckily i had no cash at my disposal to give to them. The buyer sent his inspector (Vanessa) who were very happy with the product and offered 180000.00 and Sipho said that he was selling them for lesser amount and we would split it half half Oh my word…Wow you can never stop scammers…..They showed me the cash but needed surety for it ,anything that me and this sipho can come with. We went to this office and their stories had loop holes, I had already informed my business partners to organize Crime Unit but unfortunately they were too slow and lost signal. He asked me for my phone that he wanted to make a call as his airtime had finished during his dropping of the cleaning product for the stones so he can get the money. When my people were not coming I knew I had to find a way to escape. They Operate in the CBD, Beach Front and Southernwood East London.

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