Joint sting operation by Gauteng HAWKS and SABRIC lead to the arrest of a card-cloning ring leader


In a joint sting operation between the Commercial Crime Units of the Directorate for Priority Crime Investigation (DPCI), the Hawks, in Gauteng and the South African Banking Risk and Information Centre (SABRIC), a 38-year-old Bulgarian national, Svetozar Pavlov Spasov, was arrested at his Bedfordview apartment for fraud on Monday, 09 June 2014.

The man, who is believed to be a card-cloning ringleader, was arrested while in the act of cloning various bank and retail shops’ cards.

The suspect had been kept under surveillance. It is believed that he had tampered with numerous ATMs in Gauteng by mounting card-skimming devices to copy ATM users’ information. He would subsequently use the information to clone his victims’ bank cards and later unlawfully withdraw money from their bank accounts.

The team will use the cloned information on the cards and computers to determine the extent of the loss suffered by the victims.

At the time of his arrest, the team seized equipment comprising camera moulds for high-tech devices, a card writer, counterfeit cards, laptops, cell phones, iPads and uncut diamonds.

The suspect appeared in the Johannesburg Specialised Commercial Crime Court today on charges of fraud and the case has been postponed to 19 June 2014.

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