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Black dollar scam explained in Cape court

Feb 26 2015 21:08

Cape Town - Victims of the black dollar scam believed that they had the magic to turn black pieces of paper into US dollars, a court in Cape Town heard on Thursday.

Police Warrant Officer Gert Botes told the Specialised Commercial Crime Court in Bellville that the scam involved small lock-up safes, stuffed with pieces of black paper cut to the size of the dollar.

He was under cross-examination by Legal Aid defence attorney Hayley Lawrence, at the trial of Captain Siyaza Patrick Siyale, aged 51, and colleague Wilfred Mentoor - both of whom have pleaded not guilty to charges of corruption, theft and defeating the ends of justice.

They appeared before magistrate Sabrina Sonnenberg, and Siyale alone is also charged with extortion (blackmail).

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The charge sheet tells how a Congolese investor, David Kilato, duped Nicodemus Solly Moeng into giving him R300 000. At the time, Moeng was the president of the French South African Chamber of Commerce and Industries.

As security for his investment, Moeng was to receive a number of small safes filled with black pieces of paper, which would magically turn into dollars and double his investment.

Siyale, at the time, was investigating several black dollar scams and intercepted Moeng after Moeng had received two safes from a courier.

Siyale accused Moeng of involvement in the scam, but demanded money from Moeng in order not to arrest him.

Botes told the court that the safes gave victims the impression that they were valuable, and thus played a crucial role in the scam.

"Victims believed that once they were in possession of the safes, they had control over the contents and could change the black pieces of paper into dollars as security for their investments," he said.

"The legend was that genuine dollars that had to be stained black to avoid losing it."

Asked why Siyale, as a police captain investigating other scams, would want to blackmail Moeng, Botes said the scam provided Siyale with an opportunity, and it "all depended on how the victim responded".

The case continues on March 13.

solly moeng  |  scams


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