Tanzanian Tricks Retired Teachers out of R2.5M in Romantic Scam
A Tanzanian national living illegally in South Africa has been handed a hefty 25-year prison term for defrauding two retired teachers, with whom he was romantically involved, out of R2.5 million.
Lucious Charles Saba, aged 30, used his charm to trick the two women, aged 58 and 59, into cashing out their pensions and pouring the money into a fictitious company. Saba convinced them to withdraw their entire pension savings, with one woman withdrawing R1.6 million and the other R900,000. These funds were then deposited into the bank account of YNM Investments, a company based in Durban operated by Saba’s acquaintances, as well as individuals from his home country and other foreign nationals.
Once the two victims grew suspicious about their investments, they attempted to contact Saba, but he had vanished without a trace. Realizing the severity of the situation, they promptly reported the matter to the police. However, by the time the authorities initiated their criminal investigation, the YNM Investments account had been emptied, leaving the women empty-handed.
Following his arrest in Durban, Saba was positively identified by the two women during an identity parade. The prosecution successfully argued against granting him bail, primarily because the Department of Home Affairs had no official records of his presence in the country.
The National Prosecuting Authority’s Asset Forfeiture Unit (AFU) became involved in the case, but their efforts only yielded the recovery of an older model Jaguar vehicle valued at R200,000. Throughout the trial, Saba pleaded not guilty and attempted to claim that the two “elderly” women had mistaken him for someone else.
Ultimately, the King Williams Town Regional Court sentenced the 30-year-old to 25 years in prison after Regional Court prosecutor Cyril Mahamba presented compelling evidence that supported the accounts of the two victims.