Joint operation between Hawks and Banking industry leads to arrest of card-cloning syndicate

Pretoria – A two-day joint operation between the Hawks and the banking industry in Johannesburg recorded a major breakthrough when a card-cloning syndicate was arrested in Daveyton between yesterday afternoon and this morning.

A joint operation, which ended late today, resulted in the arrest of a five-man syndicate, aged between 32 and 47, operating in Daveyton and the surrounding areas.

Yesterday afternoon, the first four suspects were smoked out of their hideout, a house in Secunda Street, which belongs to one of the suspects. The second suspect was arrested at 08:00 this morning in Mauna Street.

When the arresting team arrived at Secunda Street, they found a laptop containing financial data on the table in a lounge. The data had been retrieved from potential victims’ cards to be encoded into the cloned cards.

According to the preliminary investigations, the suspects were intercepted in the process of cloning. Upon searching this house, a card writer and a card reader, which were also found to be connected to the laptop, handheld skimming devices, and 13 cloned cards were seized.

Proceeding to Mauna Street, two encoders, two skimming devices, a computer and 41 cloned cards were confiscated.

People are warned to be careful not to ask for assistance from strangers when using their cards, since this exposes them to defrauders. It is not yet clear how much damage this syndicate has caused, but investigations are under way.

The suspects will appear in the Pretoria Specialised Crime Court on Monday, 13 January 2014, on charges of fraud and contravention of the Electronic Communication and Transaction Act, 2002 (Act No 25 of 2002).

Media Statement from the National Media Centre
Corporate Communication
South African Police Service

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