Recent news reports confirm that police have arrested 15 people in the first three months of a specialized team of anti-fraud cops focused operation in the Eastern Cape.
A slew of ATM frauds has plundered the accounts of hundreds of victims across the province and Police announced their newly assembled East London police cluster commercial task team focusing on ATM fraud, had made 15 arrests since the team was formed on 1 July this year.
The 11-member team is headed by Captain Nomnikelo Marambana and has confiscated a Porsche Audi S3 and bakki. A speed-point machine suspected of being used in some of the crimes has also been seized.
The unit was opened after a spate of fraud cases left a number of Eastern Cape victims penniless. It specialises in bank card fraud and other bank-related frauds like forex investments, online shopping, and Bitcoin trading fraud.
Many of the arrested suspects were linked to a number of crimes in East London and Mthatha. The 15 apparently form part of a syndicate. The success of the unit has seen vehicles, suspected of being bought with the proceeds of crime, confiscated. Those vehicles which were hired but later used for these crimes had to be returned to their rightful owners or companies, but those allegedly bought by the suspects are kept by the state.
The public should remain on high alert and avoid remote ATMs and be advised to withdraw money inside retail stores when possible as a much safer option. The gang targets pensioners and tourists using ATMs at Western Gruppe’s (WG) Spar and Tops outlets in the province. Victims of bank fraud are being called on to report cases to the unit. There is monetary compensation for successful cases.