By Adam Boulton
Families fear victims have been poisoned by gang
'Bride' claims new husband became ill and died
Ten men who emptied their bank accounts and flew to Africa hoping to marry women they had met on the internet have died suddenly.
The victims, who did not know each other, all flew to Yaounde, the capital of Cameroon, after falling in love with local women online.
Their families in Belgium later received phone calls from Cameroon in which a sobbing woman told them their relatives had died from a mysterious illness.
Belgian police suspect the men were tricked out of the money they took with them to start new lives with their 'brides' before being poisoned by fraudsters.
One of the victims was named yesterday as Mikael Pietquin, 30, from Brussels, who vanished after falling in love with a woman nicknamed the African Bomb. His father has told police his son phoned home before he disappeared to say his future bride had made him eat a 'love plant' to improve his sexual performance.
'We heard nothing more until the sobbing woman phoned us and said: "Mikael is dead",' the father said yesterday.
'The bride said my son was sick when he arrived and took an overdose of medicine from Belgium. We did not believe her.'
Another victim was reported to be a former Belgian airline pilot from Hastiere in Southern Belgium.