Computer Crime Research Center


Hostages in Internet scam

Date: August 14, 2007

A South Australian farmer was lured to Africa with promises of marriage and gold then held hostage for 12 days.

Des Gregor, 56, from Hoyleton about 120km north of Adelaide, arrived in Mali on July 27 after corresponding with his supposed bride-to-be "Natacha" on the internet.

Soon after arriving in the west African country, he was assaulted, stripped of his credit cards and cash, and taken to an apartment in the capital Bamako where he was held hostage.

An organised gang demanded thousands of dollars, which they tried to secure through Mr Gregor's family back in Hoyleton.

But his family contacted Australian Federal Police who eventually secured the farmer's release.
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