A man who was arrested for three fraud cases in Port Elizabeth earlier this month, is also suspected to have run similar scams in the Western Cape totaling more than R100,000.
Malcolm Leonard, 57, was arrested on February 6 for three cases of fraud committed in Walmer, Mount Road and Humewood after allegedly conning people on Gumtree and OLX.
According to police, he is also the main suspect in at least five other similar scams in Mossel Bay and two more in the Vioolsdrift area dating back to 2016.
In total, he allegedly conned people out of about R45,000 in Port Elizabeth while the Western Cape cases amount to about R105,000.
Leonard was arrested at a house in Bruer Road, Kabega Park, and was released the following day on R1,000 bail by the Port Elizabeth Magistrate’s Court.
Police spokesperson Captain Sandra Janse van Rensburg said Leonard was accused of luring people on social media accounts, mostly Gumtree and OLX, claiming to sell or repair trailers.
“The prices varied but it was generally around R15,000 per trailer to either build, repair or sell. Some of the trailers he offered were custom made for cattle and horses.”
Janse van Rensburg said after contact was made with the buyers, Leonard would allegedly ask for a deposit and later request more money to complete the job.
“Eventually all the money would have been paid and then he disappears. He operated out of a house in Red House and in Deal Park. He has since moved from both addresses.”
The company name listed on the adverts was Cillion Trading 42 but police said it was unclear if another name or business name was used in some of the transactions.
Janse van Rensburg said the Humewood, Mount Road and Walmer cases were committed between November 2018 and January.
“It appears that he has traveled to various towns and ended up in the Bay.
“The suspect was charged for the three Port Elizabeth cases and the Mossel Bay cases had already been provisionally withdrawn pending further investigation,” she said.
“We are liaising with Detectives in the Western Cape who are looking into more scams that he could have been involved with. At this stage the investigation is ongoing.”
Janse van Rensburg pleaded with any other possible victims to come forward and contact Detective Warrant Officer Hannelie Greyling 041 504 5085 or 082 0909655.
Leonard is due to reappear in the Port Elizabeth Magistrate’s Court on April 24.