Facebook scammer appears in court

Magistrates Court: File picture

A 24-year-old City University medical student has appeared in the Lusaka Magistrates’ Court for possession of obscene photographs and cinematographs.

Joel Sikaneta, a Kabwe resident, allegedly had in his possession obscene materials namely photographs and cinematographs which tend to corrupts morals.

Sikaneta said he understood the charge after magistrate Felix Kaoma explained it to him, Monday.

Magistrate Kaoma told the accused that he would only take plea if consent was issued from the Director of Public Prosecutions.

Sikaneta, who has been in custody for 40 days, was granted K10,000 bail in his own recognisance with two working sureties in the like sum and employed by government.

And magistrate Kaoma wondered why the accused was in custody for that long saying it was unacceptable.

But a public prosecutor told the court that the case involved investigations from different stakeholders.

The court remanded the accused until he meets the set bail conditions.

Sikaneta is alleged to have committed the offence between January 1 and November 29, 2017.

The accused is believed to have swindled seven women using nine fake Facebook accounts opened in different names.

The accused person would pretend to be a white man, soldier by profession based and in Moscow.

He would initiate an intimate relationship with unsuspecting females on Facebook after befriending them and would promise to send them money in dollars and buy cars.

Sikanetta would begin by sending nude pictures of a white man on pretext that they were his and would later entice women to also send their nude pictures to him.

The accused would thereafter use another account purporting to be the man’s wife who discovered the nude pictures in her husband’s conversations.

She would then begin demanding money from victims and threatening to publish nude pictures if they did not comply.

When the victims pleaded for leniency, the purported wife would link them to either her brother or spiritual father here in Zambia who would give them an account number in which to deposit the money.

Several women, including married women, fell victim and ended up depositing money for fear of being embarrassed.

One unsuspecting lady was even promised marriage by the accused before the deal went sour.

Matter comes up on January 19, 2018 for possible plea.

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