South African and US officials on Tuesday arrested the alleged leaders of a large transnational Nigerian syndicate called the Black Axe that has been fleecing ove-struck individuals through “romance scams”.According to TimesLIVE news site, six leaders of the Black Axe organised crime group’s Cape Town chapter were arrested on Tuesday morning in a coordinated operation involving the South African Police Service’s Hawks and US law-enforcement authorities.
It said a seventh member of the group, who is not part of the leadership of the organisation, was also arrested, while an eighth person affiliated to the organisation was picked up during the raid in connection with a separate, but related, case.
The founder of the Black Axe “Cape Town Zone” was among those arrested, TimesLIVE sources said.
The group is believed to be behind hundreds of thousands of “romance scams” in which members of the group allegedly used dating sites to meet elderly men and women from around the world who were either widowed or divorced, then scam them out of their money.
Some of the victims have been fleeced out of their life’s savings and even their entire pensions.