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Vic man accused of stealing $1.4m from victims in alleged Sierra Leone diamond mine scam

Three people who were allegedly approached by a man who claimed to own a diamond mine in Sierra Leone have lost $1.4 million.

A Melbourne man has been accused of tricking people into investing in a fake diamond mine in Sierra Leone.

The 42-year-old allegedly stole more than $1.4 million from three victims before police arrested him last month.

The man, who lives in Melbourne’s southeastern suburbs, is facing more than 150 charges, including obtaining property by deception.

Police alleged the man claimed to own a diamond mine in the west African country, and that he approached his victims offering them to invest.

“Once an initial sum was paid, the offender allegedly asked for equipment and various gifts for his employees before on-selling items received in an offshore shop,” police said in a statement.

One of the alleged victims lost more than $1 million.

The others lost at least $100,000 each.

When the man faces Melbourne Committal Court in February, police will allege he ran the scam from September 2017.

“Criminals involved in the deception of others are often convincing and take advantage of people’s trust to exploit others for their own financial gain,” Detective Senior Sergeant Jason Venturoni said.

“The community can rest assured that Victoria Police will leave no stone unturned investigating online scams and frauds, given they often leave a significant psychological and financial impact on the victim.

“Victims are often left feeling a wide range of emotions including anger, helplessness and humiliation but it is important to know that no victim is to blame, and help is available.

“If you believe you are the victim of deception, we urge you to contact your local police station.”

Read related topics:Melbourne


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