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Hawks finally arrest fugitive bank card fraudster

The man will be appearing before the Bellville Serious Commercial Crime Court on Friday, 8 January 2021

money safety tips festive season

Image via Adobe Stock

After nearly two years on the run, the Directorate for Priority Crimes Investigation (DPCI), also known as the Hawks, have managed to arrest a man, on more than a hundred counts related to bank fraud.

The man, 35-year-old Wonder Mgude, was handcuffed on Wednesday afternoon, 6 January 2021, in Stikland by the Hawks Serious Commercial Crime Investigation team.

According to police, Mgude was initially arrested in October 2017 at a Caltex Garage, Airport City outside of Cape Town. He had apparently tried persuading a motorist to pay him cash in exchange for using a counterfeit garage card to fill-up their (the motorist’s) fuel.

A petrol attendant then noticed that Mgude’s card was actually fake. This resulted in Mgude being arrested, but not before he tried to flee the scene on foot leaving his vehicle that was parked at the fuel station behind.

“The resultant search of his vehicle uncovered about 18× counterfeit bank cards, papers containing numerous card numbers, a card reader writer/encoding machine as well as a laptop,” said Hawks spokesperson Captain Lloyd Ramovha.

Mgude’s R100 000 worth of bank fraud charges

He subsequently appeared before the Bishop Lavis Magistrate’s Court. However, he failed to stay out of trouble and was arrested again at another filling station, for a similar crime.

Two counterfeit bank cards were found in his possession.

Both cases were centralized and transferred to the Serious Commercial Court. The Wynberg Magistrate’s Court subsequently granted him bail.

The trial date was set for 31 January 2019. Mgude absconded court proceedings resulting in a warrant for his arrest being issued on 04 March 2019. He has been on the run since until his recent arrest.

“Mgude is to face no less than 118 charges relating to conspiracy to commit fraud and forgery to the tune of over R100 000-00 in contravention of the Electronic Communications and Transactions Act,” Ramovha added.