Authorities in Mpumalanga are conducting an extensive search for an individual named Lucky Innocent Talemwa after a woman fell victim to a romance scam and lost R1.6 million.
Mpumalanga police spokesperson, Brigadier Selvy Mohlala, has appealed to the public for assistance in locating Talemwa, as investigators believe he could provide valuable information regarding the theft case.
The incident was reported at Middelburg police station in April 2023, after the woman had a relationship with Talemwa, who claimed to be a Ugandan citizen.
During their relationship, Talemwa allegedly showed the woman a significant amount of black-colored banknotes and convinced her that he needed a substantial sum of genuine South African banknotes to convert them.
As a result, the woman resigned from her job and withdrew money on various occasions, handing it over to Talemwa with the belief that he would exchange his alleged banknote collection for genuine currency.
The total amount given to Talemwa is reported to be approximately R1.6 million. However, Talemwa disappeared without a trace, prompting the woman to report the incident to the police.
They also encourage anyone with information on Talemwa’s whereabouts to report it anonymously through the Crime Stop number or the My SAPS App.
Meanwhile, the provincial commissioner of SAPS in Mpumalanga, Lieutenant General Semakaleng Daphney Manamela, has cautioned the community to remain vigilant against various scams targeting individuals and their assets.
These schemes often exploit the vulnerability of single women by establishing relationships with them and then manipulating them into taking loans and making risky financial decisions, she added.
Manamela emphasized the importance of staying alert and avoiding potential risks to prevent devastating consequences.