8 Nigerian nationals accused of online dating scam are flight risks, says State

It's alleged that they defrauded citizens in the US and other parts of the world out of more than $6.8 million (R98.7 million).

Picture: SAPS/facebook.com

CAPE TOWN - The State has argued that the eight Nigerian men accused of running an internet romance scam were flight risks.

They appeared in the Cape Town Magistrates Court on Wednesday following their arrest in Tableview on Monday.

It's alleged that they defrauded citizens in the US and other parts of the world out of more than $6.8 million (R98.7 million).

The accused face charges in the US ranging from conspiracy to commit wire fraud, to money laundering and aggravated identity theft.

Prosecutor, Advocate Robin Lewis, said that the State would formally oppose bail next week, as the alleged conmen could still have access to some bank accounts and could flee the country.

National Prosecuting Authority (NPA) spokesperson, Eric Ntabazalila: "At the moment they're not facing any charges in South Africa, it's only charges in America, that's why the USA wants to get them extradited, especially to Texas and New Jersey."

The State believes that the accused are likely to tamper with evidence electronically and some are in the country illegally as their passports have expired.

They also face a pending extradition application by the US, where warrants for their arrest have already been issued.

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