Alert account clerk helps make fraud arrest

2014-10-09 00:00

AN alert account clerk at Russells store in Pietermaritzburg on Tuesday had a man arrested after he tried to open an account with fake documents.

The store’s account clerk, Sue Emanuel, said the man came to the store on Monday with only a driver’s licence that did not belong to him. When she questioned him, the man provided unsatisfactory answers.

“Everything he said made no sense. He had no identity document and when I compared his payslip with UIF documents, they did not correspond,” said Emanuel.

“He insisted he was Thumelo Manoko [on the driver’s licence]. He totally did not look like him. He had opened three fake accounts at the Russells stores in the Northern Cape.”

She said the man claimed he worked at Sol Plaatje Municipality as a town planner.

The municipality, however, said the man was no longer working for them.

On Tuesday, Emanuel called the man to come to the store.

“When he was here, we pressed the siren and ADT Security guards and the police responded instantly. He tried to escape down Boshoff Street but he did not manage to get very far as he was apprehended in Longmarket [Langalibalele] Street.”

The real owner of the documents, Thumelo Manoko, who lost his belongings in July, said he was happy that the fraudster had been caught.

“The problem started when the man opened an account in Standard Bank. He managed to get bank statements from the bank using my credentials to open accounts in Russells stores,” said Manoko.

He said he reported the matter to the bank but nothing was done and he opened a police case.

“I’m disappointed. I don’t understand how he was able to open multiple accounts. At the end of the day, I’m the one who will be in credit bureaus,” he said emotionally.

Provincial police spokesperson Thulani Zwane said a case of fraud is being investigated by the local SAPS. Zwane said the man will appear in the Pietermaritzburg Magistrate’s Court on a charge of fraud today.

• khanyisani.dlomo@witness.co.za

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