Two men have been convicted of skimming and cloning credit cards in the Bellville and Athlone Magistrate’s Courts on Thursday.
The convictions form part of efforts by the Directorate for Priority Crime Investigation, which continues to make significant inroads in dealing with sophisticated card fraud syndicates and fraudsters operating in the Western Cape, Hawks spokesperson Captain Philani Nkwalase said in a statement.
Celesani Cele, 31, also known as “Sunny”, a waiter at a popular local Table View restaurant, was sentenced on six counts of fraud, violating the Electronic Communications and Transactions (ETC) Act 25 of 2002, and money laundering.
He was sentenced to eight years’ imprisonment wholly suspended for five years.
He was slapped with a further three years’ imprisonment wholly suspended for five years for violating the ETC Act 25 of 2002 and an additional seven years’ imprisonment for money laundering, wholly suspended for five years.
Cele was arrested by the Hawks’ ATM Task Force Team and various banking industry role-players while on duty inside the restaurant in November 2018. He was found in possession of a bank card skimming device, and a notebook containing what appeared to be illegally collated bank card details of various restaurant clients.
On a separate matter, Lukhanyo Bokolo, 33, was also arrested by the Hawks’ ATM Task Force Team upon following up on information about suspected cloned cards being used at a store in Tyger Valley Mall in June 2019. Bokolo was caught in possession of five cloned cards which were used to purchase more than R31 000 worth of merchandise.
Bokolo pleaded guilty on all charges and was sentenced to five years’ imprisonment wholly suspended for five years for violating the ECT act 25 of 2002. The Bellville Magistrate’s Court also found him guilty and sentenced him to three years direct imprisonment for fraud as well as an additional three years for violating the ECT act 25 of 2002. Both charges will run concurrently.