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Animal Theft and Internet Fraud Scandal: Two Men in Court

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Thabo Ramarothole (40) from Lekhaloaneng, residing in Lithabaneng, and Thato Mpeki (42) from Borokhoaneng, Maseru, appeared in the Magistrate’s Court on May 13th, charged with animal theft and internet fraud. The hearing took place before Magistrate Letsika, with Prosecutor Rabale presenting the case.

In an interview with Detective Police Constable (D/P/C) Neo Monaheng from the Office of Cybercrime and Money Laundering, Police Headquarters, he explained the events that transpired on April 24th. The accused allegedly approached an animal trader in Lithabaneng, claiming they intended to purchase a cow and three sheep. They informed the trader they would pay via electronic transfer, knowing the trader accepted digital payments, avoiding the need for cash.

Monaheng recounted that the suspects arranged the costs, totaling M18,800.00, and purportedly transferred the money to the trader’s account. The transaction showed the money being deposited on the trader’s wife’s phone, but upon checking their actual bank balance, the money was not present. Suspecting fraud, the trader reported the incident to the police.

Police investigations led to the arrest of Ramarothole and Mpeki, who confessed to selling the animals to another businessman in Maseru, where the animals were found slaughtered.

Lance Sergeant (L/Sgt.) ‘Mathabo Sakoane urged the public to verify their account balances after receiving transaction notifications and not to rely solely on message confirmations. He also cautioned against the misuse of internet services, warning that offenders would be prosecuted.

The accused are currently held at the Correctional Facility, awaiting their next court appearance on May 21st.

image source: LMPS
image source: LMPS

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