Five men appeared in the Pretoria specialised commercial crime court on Monday for being part of a bank card cloning syndicate, the Hawks said.
The case was postponed until 21 January for a formal bail application, said Hawks’ spokesman Paul Ramaloko.
The men, aged between 32 and 47, appeared on charges of fraud and contravening the Electronic Communication and Transaction Act.
They were arrested on Friday after an operation by the banking industry and the Hawks.
They were believed to have operated in Daveyton, on the East Rand, and the surrounding areas.
“[On Thursday], the first four suspects were smoked out of their hideout, a house in Secunda Street, which belongs to one of the suspects,” Ramaloko said at the time.
Another man was arrested in Mauna Street on Friday morning.
“When the arresting team arrived at Secunda Street, they found a laptop containing financial data on the table in a lounge. The data had been retrieved from potential victims’ cards, to be encoded into the cloned cards,” Ramaloko said.
A card writer, card reader, skimming devices and 13 cloned cards were seized at the Mauna Street property.
“People are warned to be careful and not to ask for assistance from strangers when using their cards, since this exposes them to defrauders,” said Ramaloko.
It was not known how many people had fallen victim to the syndicate. — Sapa