WALVIS BAY – A petrol card scam by a syndicate in the Erongo Region has cost an unsuspecting South African tourist at least N$50 000, after he cancelled two petrol cards in March this year, but to his shock and dismay discovered that the cards were still being used in Namibia, until last week.
Speculation is that the suspects used devices to clone the two credit cards and re-activated them after they were cancelled by the bank. It is unknown at this stage whether petrol attendants at service stations are also part of the syndicate.
New Era has it on good authority that Nampol is now trying to trace the owner of the two credit cards through Interpol and will also obtain a warrant today, in order for the bank to release more details of the transactions.
At least one suspect, Patrick Shanti, has already been arrested and appeared in the Walvis Bay Magistrate’s Court where he was granted N$5 000 bail. More arrests are expected to follow.
Various transactions were conducted since March this year at two service stations, one in the town centre and another in the Narraville residential area of Walvis Bay.
According to a source in the police force, the suspects allegedly used the cards to fill up local taxis and long-distance buses destined for Windhoek and the northern parts of the country.
“Even imported vehicles destined for Botswana were filled up with the cards,” said the police source.
According to the source, a truck was also busy filling up while a bank official was visiting a service station to inform the owners of the stolen credit card.
“By the time the owners detected the fraudulent transaction, the truck had already gone to the Gobabis border post,” the source said.
Nampol yesterday issued a warning to motorists and service station owners to be on the lookout for two Standard Bank petrol cards with the following code numbers: 7080480481801084019 and 627922198350625.