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MPUMALANGA – The Evander Regional Court has sentenced Gegama Simon Mahlangu (25), to an effective four years prison term on 10 April 2018 for various counts of fraud. He was facing charges of unlawfully using a skimming device to rip-off unsuspecting motorists of over R40 000 at the Trichardt Toll Plaza.
In the course of 2017 Mahlangu was working as a Toll Operator and he illegally skimmed bank cards of passing motorists when they were making payments. Later that year complaints were received from the bank regarding clients that had lost money through strange transactions.
The Hawks’ Serious Commercial Crime Investigation Unit took up the case and Mahlangu was arrested in a sting operation after he was found at work in possession of a skimming device.
Mahlangu faced 124 counts of illegally collecting data from bank cards using the said device. He was convicted for fraud in Contravention of Section 86(1) and 86(3) Act 25/2002.
The court sentenced him to total of 19 years imprisonment, some years are to run concurrently. He is to serve an effective four (4) years prison term.
Card Skimming is prevalent and it usually involves using a hand held device to collect data from the magnetic stripe of a credit, debit or any bank card. This information is then copied onto a blank card’s magnetic stripe, from then on a person in possession of this cloned card is able to make purchases or withdraw cash in the name of the actual account holder.
The Provincial Head of the Directorate for Priority Crime Investigation in Mpumalanga, Major General, Zodwa Mokoena has welcomed the sentence.
“We hope this serves as a deterrent to criminals. Patrons are urged to make it difficult for occurrences of card skimming to take place by being vigilant at all times. Always keep an eye on your bank statements for unauthorised transactions and report these immediately”. She said.