Three arrested in Mthatha for scamming tourists

Mark and Pauline Hunter, were robbed by Mthatha's ATM syndicate, which started when they were pulled off the road by "tourism officials"
Mark and Pauline Hunter, were robbed by Mthatha's ATM syndicate, which started when they were pulled off the road by "tourism officials"
Image: Supplied

Three people have been arrested by the Eastern Cape police for allegedly scamming an Australian couple of R96,000 in an elaborate Mafia-like ATM card cloning scam operating in Mthatha and other parts of the Eastern Cape.

The men with ages ranging between 27 and 38 years old were arrested by Mthatha K9 police members at Ngolo locality on Sunday, said Mthatha police spokesperson Dineo Koena.

Koena said the suspects will appear before Mthatha magistrate’s court on Tuesday on charges of fraud.The Dispatch had spoken extensively to Mark Hunter,59, and his wife of 30 years Pauline,52, on Sunday after the ordeal. The exclusive interview is reserved for Tuesday's print edition of the Daily Dispatch.

The couple was robbed at an ATM after 2pm on Saturday by scam artists who convinced the firefighter and his information technology expert wife that they needed to withdraw money to get vouchers for "toll" fees.

The Dispatch had on Saturday exclusively broke the news of a Mafia-like gang's reign of terror in the Transkei where they were using hired vehicles to commission a well-organised card-cloning syndicate. Koena said: “It is alleged that the couple was driving along the N2 when they were pulled off the road by two unknown men in a silver VW Polo with one of them wearing a reflector jacket labelled Eastern Cape Tourism Board.

It is further alleged that the suspects demanded a tourism voucher claiming that the victims should pay tourism fee and they further took them to the ATM where their three bank cards were retained and after the suspects fled they noticed that their undisclosed amount of money was robbed.”

During their arrest, when their vehicles were searched, four reflector jackets labelled Eastern Cape Tourism Board, a receipt book and a R3,450 amount of cash were found in their vehicles. Their vehicles were also confiscated.The Eastern Cape police have commended the police for the arrest. "I commend you for this swift arrest. We must link them with all the incidents where our tourists are terrorised," said the acting cluster Commander-Brigadier Nomawethu Makonza.




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