Nigerian kills 67-yr-old Australian lover
BY UDUMA KALU, WITH AGENCY REPORT
Australian police have said a great-grand mother who was found dead in South Africa was murdered by her online Nigerian scammer she met on a dating site. Australian Federal Police officers are already in Nigeria investigating the woman’s death.
The West Australian newspaper reported, Monday, that the body of Jette Jacobs, 67, from Wagin in Australia was found in a Johannesburg guest house on February 9, 2013, more than two months after she reportedly went there to meet a Nigerian, 28-year-old Jesse Orowo Omokoh. Omokoh was the last person to see Ms Jacobs alive and told police he found her body. He has since disappeared.
Australasian police officer, Robert Martin, from the major fraud squad, said police were in contact with Australian Federal Police officers in Nigeria about Ms Jacobs’ death and investigations were in the early stages. He said her death appeared suspicious and he confirmed Omokoh was a suspect.
He said Ms Jacobs forwarded Mr Omokoh $80,000 after they met online and sent him a further $20,000 once she arrived in Johannesburg.
“She actually sold her home believing she was going to be starting a new life overseas and it ended in tragedy. This is the first time we have seen this happen,” he said.
He said relationship scams had become a “massive problem”, costing West Australians between $600,000 and $1 million each month.
The report said Ms Jacobs, a widow who had six children, struck up an online relationship with Omokoh three years ago and travelled to South Africa to meet him in 2010 before he proposed late last year. Over several years she sent $200,000 to Omokoh and another man she met online, known as Isaac.
Despite warnings from family, Ms Jacobs went to South Africa in November to marry Omokoh but he failed to turn up until last month, blaming visa troubles.
Two days after he arrived from Nigeria, Ms Jacobs was found dead, with her jewellery and money missing. It is believed South African police initially thought she had committed suicide, as empty pill packets were found nearby. But the victim’s son, who did not want to be identified, said his mother met with foul play.
The son said: “We tried to talk her out of it but no one could convince her it wasn’t real and there was nothing there for her. But she kept believing there was and unfortunately we weren’t strong enough to stop her going.”
Detectives from Australia’s Operation Sunbird, a joint operation with consumer protection to investigate online scams sent Ms Jacobs a letter warning she might have been a victim of fraud but it arrived after she had left Australia.
The victim’s youngest daughter, who wanted to be known only as Mrs Jackson, told Seven News Omokoh wanted to move to Australia but her mother wanted to settle in Nigeria.
She said: “My mum paid the ultimate price, which no one should have to. We don’t want to see this happening to anybody else.”