Zambian gold fraudsters denied bail in South Africa

Johannesburg – Four men who posed as precious metals dealers to allegedly defraud a businessman of nearly R10m have been denied bail by the Johannesburg Specialised Commercial Crime Court, the Hawks said on Tuesday.

Zambian nationals Alex Kapasa, 29, Andrew Nawa, 33, Ephraim Musukwu, 28, and Daniel Phiri, 37, appeared in court on Monday, Captain Ndivhuwo Mulamu said.

They claimed to be running a business selling gold, platinum, and copper and demanded upfront payment.

A business owner in Dubai paid them $750 000 (approximately R9.8m) for 500kg of gold and they allegedly promised to deliver it within seven days.
“Seven days came and passed, but there was no gold delivered. When the client followed up, Kapasa offered 1 000kg for $2.2m. That is when the client suspected that this might be a scam,” Mulamu said.

The buyer in Dubai agreed to the new deal and contacted police.

On Friday, members of the Hawks’ serious commercial crimes unit arrested the four during a sting operation at a Sandton hotel, where the transaction would have been concluded.

Further investigations allegedly linked the four to another fraud case involving a copper deal in March.

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