Card cloners nabbed

2015-03-02 00:00

A POLICE swoop at the Liberty ­Midlands Mall netted three men and a woman accused of operating a ­massive card fraud syndicate.

Using duplicate South African Social Security Agency (Sassa) cards, the gang withdrew thousands of rands at the start of every month.

Police also seized R90 000 in cash, and 90 duplicated cards that they were carrying.

Two Pietermaritzburg police ­constables took the alleged fraudsters into custody after a tip-off from mall security last month.

CCTV footage showed the suspects entering the mall and using multiple Sassa cards at the ATMs.

The alleged fraudsters were targeting Absa and Standard Bank ATMs, withdrawing large amounts of cash from each card.

According to a police source who could not be named, mall security officers spotted two men and four women using different cards to withdraw money from the ATMs last month.

They notified police, but the group had left the mall by the time they ­arrived.

Noting that the same group appeared at the mall on the first day of every month, officers lay in wait and made the arrests yesterday.

“They told us they got the cards from owners who were elderly and could not get to an ATM, so they would do it on their behalf. However, they could not account for where the card owners lived. That’s when we knew they were lying,” one officer said.

Ninety Sassa cards were found in their possession and two sums of ­money, R59 820 and R39 660, were ­recovered.

A Sassa official was sent from ­Johannesburg to investigate the ­account holder’s details yesterday and open a case of fraud.

He would not comment on the incident, referring The Witness to Sassa’s spokesperson.

The Witness visited the Pietermaritzburg (Loop Street) police station yesterday to find officers counting large sums of money that covered an entire desk.

It took more than three hours for the team of officers to sort through piles of cash.

According to Pietermaritzburg station spokesperson Lieutenant Joey ­Jeevan, the suspects have been arrested and will appear in the Pietermaritzburg Magistrate’s Court this week.

• amil.umraw@witness.co.za

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