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Beware of this money "laundering" scheme

News - Date: 12 April 2018

Written by: Isabel Venter / Viewed: 9212


Two suspects allegedly wanting to cash in on local residents’ gullibility and greed, were in for a big let-down when they were apprehended by the Makhado Police over the past weekend.

The alleged scammers were caught by police during an intelligence led joint operation that was conducted in and around Louis Trichardt on Sunday, 9 April. In fact, the operation focused on rooting out the spread of drugs in the area.

What the police found in the two suspects’ possession was a powdery substance, that later turned out not to be drugs. Instead it is believed that the two used the synthetic powder to cheat people out of their hard-earned money.

Local police spokesperson Const Irene Radzilane shed some light on this scam. She said that scammers will approach people on the street and sell them this powder, under the ruse that it is a miracle washing powder. Fake or blank money notes, not smaller than a R100, washed with this substance will miraculously become “real” money.

When the police arrested the suspects, they were allegedly busy defrauding unsuspecting victims. They allegedly promised their victims that they can “convert” their R40 000 into R4 million.  

After the arrest, police confiscated the powder, blank money notes and R300 in cash from the suspects. Both suspects, identified as Isaac Newton (43) and Dina Nabifo (34), appeared in the Louis Trichardt Magistrate Court on Monday on charges relating to fraud and the possession of counterfeit money. Their case was postponed until 23 April. They will remain in custody until then.


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Some of the blank and real money notes that were confiscated by police during the three alleged scammers' arrest on Sunday. Photo supplied.


Dina Nabifo (34). Photo supplied.

Isaac Newton (43). Photo supplied.

This is the synthetic powder that police believe three alleged scammers used to con people into believing that they can "wash" their money and increase its value. Photo supplied.


Isabel Venter

Isabel joined the Zoutpansberger and Limpopo Mirror in 2009 as a reporter. She holds a BA Degree in Communication Sciences from the University of South Africa. Her beat is mainly crime and court reporting.


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