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Cape Town - A 27-year-old suspect appeared in the Bellville Magistrate's Court on Monday for allegedly defrauding unsuspecting victims through an online dating scam.

The Hawks Serious Commercial Crime Investigation Unit arrested Tochukwu Christopher Udeh on Wednesday last week.

Hawks spokesperson, Captain Philani Nkwalase, said the suspect is part of a syndicate operating in Cape Town: "Their modus operandi reportedly includes using fake profiles on the online-based dating sites to lure victims.

"The conversations would then build up to phone calls, emails WhatsApp messages, following which, unsuspecting victims would then be tricked into parting with money or purchasing gifts and ship them to the fraudsters".  

Police intercepted a shipment of laptops, smart phones, bank cards and documents from a victim in Australia.

Udeh will apply for bail on August 27.

African News Agency (ANA)