Two Nigerian men and a South African woman were arrested in Johannesburg on July 2. The arrests follow a five-month intensive investigation by the Major Fraud Squad of the WA Police, with the assistance of the Australian Federal Police who worked closely with the South African authorities.
Asanda Zimkhitha Cwayi (28) a South African woman and Nigerian men Magnus Ikechukwu Kamah (38), and Nbubusi Sunday Okeke (34) were charged with fraud, forgery and uttering.
It will be alleged a Mandurah real estate agency, which was managing the Greenfields property on behalf of its South African owner, received an email from the suspects in mid-February pretending to be the real owner and successfully changed the contact email address the agency had on file. Two weeks later, a request to sell the property was received, agreements were signed with forged signatures and exchanged electronically. The property was then put on the market.
It will be further alleged that in March, an offer was made on the property and accepted by the bogus owner.
As a result of the offer, documents were sent by the agency to the real owner’s address in South Africa by post. While the email address had been changed, the physical address on file was not.
The real owner alerted the agent that the sale was not authorised and the police were contacted.
Major Fraud Squad detectives were able to work with the agency, a local settlement agent and police in South Africa to identify and apprehend the offenders.
In August 2013, Ntuen Promise Ekenmini was arrested in Nigeria over a separate fraud attempt when he collected documents related to a supposed settlement of a home in Falcon, which was owned by a South African.