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'Black Axe suspected of scamming online daters labelled cult in Nigeria'

20 October 2021 9:24 AM

Refilwe Moloto speaks to investigative journalist Aron Hyman about the origins of the group that allegedly scam online daters.
  • Investigative journalist Aron Hyman says the victims are psychologically damaged from online dating scam
  • Hyman says confraternities like Black Axe were seen as cults and banned in Nigeria but have origins in university fraternity brotherhoods.
Copyright: thevisualsyouneed / 123rf

Eight suspected fraudsters arrested in Cape Town by the FBI, Hawks, and other law enforcement agencies will appear in court on Wednesday. The men are accused of scamming victims using social media and online dating websites.

RELATED: Suspected romance scammers with ties to Nigerian syndicate arrested in Cape Town

Hyman says the targets are not just women.

It's always people that are lonely, people that may have been widowed or divorced. They go online and these people have used sites like Christian Mingle...they have used a vast variety of online dating sites to find their victims.

Aron Hyman, Journalist - TimesLive

He says it could be easy to dismiss these victims as people caught in a scam but it is far more psychologically devastating than that.

Some of the victims I have spoken to... are trapped in a world of paranoia and lies. Some of them have lost touch with reality completely. It's actually quite devastating to see. Tt's psychological manipulation on a level that I haven't seen

Aron Hyman, Journalist - TimesLive

What are the origins of groups like the Black Axe?

Groups like the Black Axe are called 'confraternities' in Nigeria.

Aron Hyman, Journalist - TimesLive

It has its origins in what is termed the Neo Black Movement of Africa, he explains.

It started as a post-colonial vanguard movement on Nigerian campuses in the 1970s, post-independence there.

Aron Hyman, Journalist - TimesLive

Hyman spoke to Nigerian journalists to find out more.

They said it started as this whole thing of a fraternity brotherhood getting involved in the political process, but eventually became relatively powerful and started becoming increasingly violent and increasingly criminal....and eventually, they were banned and labelled cults in Nigeria.

Aron Hyman, Journalist - TimesLive



20 October 2021 9:24 AM