Windhoek — The Windhoek City Police launched a sting operation last Friday during which three members of a syndicate of ATM card cloners that has been operating at the coast and in Windhoek were arrested.
Senior superintendent of the Windhoek City Police Jerry Shikesho reiterated his warning to businesses to be more security conscious after card cloners used the ID of one Dawid Theofilus to conclude a bank transaction.
"We have the details of the owner of the account who in this case was a Belgian national," he said, adding that the problem with some businesses is that they unwittingly help these criminals.
"There are two ways. First, these cloners always make their purchases minutes before the closing of business, and they always seem to be in a hurry. They will first approach a business and ask for their business account number," he said.
"They then go and make a false payment into the business account and later bring the receipt as evidence that they had made a payment. All this usually happens just before closing time. By then the bank is closed and business places normally believe that indeed the client has paid and will proceed to conclude the transaction. The next day when the bank informs the business that the card has been blocked, the suspects already collected the consignment and disappeared with their loot, " explained Shikesho.
He said the police were in pursuit of the kingpin of the syndicate who has been on a shopping spree at Swakopmund, where the syndicate purchased goods valued at N$12 592 and N$12 100.
In Windhoek, the gang purchased goods to the value of N$1 923 using the same card.
According to Shikesho, the City Police started the sting operation, because they know the methods the criminals are using.
"We have good intelligence on how to trace them and it is just a matter of time before we pick them up," he said.
New Era last week reported on a petrol card scam run by a syndicate in the Erongo Region, which has cost an unsuspecting South African tourist at least N$50 000 after he cancelled two petrol cards in March this year.
To the owner's shock and dismay the cards were still being used in Namibia, until last week, despite the cancellation.
Speculation is that the suspects used devices to clone the two credit cards and re-activated them after they were cancelled.
In the meantime the Namibian Police Force in Windhoek is requesting the public to assist in tracing the whereabouts of Ndaamakunye Tamutilange Shilongo, who failed to appear before court. He is wanted for robbery with aggravating circumstances in a case that occurred during September 2011 in Windhoek.
Shilongo is an Oshikwanyama- speaking person. He is said to be about 1,8 metres tall and light in complexion. He has relatives in Angola and police say there is a possibility that he resides in an area along the Namibia/Angola border.
A warrant for his arrest was issued. Anyone with information regarding Ndaamukunye's whereabouts is requested to contact Deputy Commissioner Silvanus Nghishindimbwa on 081275510 or 0813385358, or Deputy Inspector Amakali on 0812499692, or the nearest police station.