A 49-year-old man, who is already in custody at St Albans Prison in Port Elizabeth, has been charged by the Serious Commercial Crime unit of the Hawks as the 13th suspect of an alleged ATM card swapping syndicate. The man, who is in prison for an unrelated case , was charged last week Wednesday with Fraud and is expected to make his first appearance before the New Law court in Port Elizabeth in January 2017.
It is alleged that in 2015, the suspect, together with Luthando Ngesi (20), Linda Aba (36), Simpiwe Bulelani Twalo (27), Bruce Lee Mawela (38), Luthando Mfini (29), Lazola Mjekula (30), Sandile Sicolo (34), Ntsikelelo Giba (56), Mzimkhulu Mqaba (47), Caroline Bundwini (42), Siviwe Mpapela (24) and Lungile Anthony Billy (41), conducted ATM card swopping at various ATM machines around Port Elizabeth.
The first suspect to be arrested was Ngesi on 3 December 2015. The last suspect who was arrested was Billy. He was arrested in November 2016.
The Hawks in the Eastern Cape would like to caution the public to be extra vigilant during this Festive season as it is during this time that ATM card swapping crimes are most prevalent. Do not allow anyone to help you when performing a transaction at an ATM, only receive help from the staff of the bank. If your card is swallowed by the machine, immediately phone the number written on the ATM machine where you can cancel your card. Card swapping and the withdrawal of the cash all happens in a few minutes, therefore, phone the number immediately and cancel your card in order to prevent loss.