Cape Town - A 39-year-old man and his side-kick have been convicted and sentenced after their credit card cloning syndicate came to an end.
Siyasanga Miya pleaded guilty to several counts of cloned credit cards which were used in payments at shops around the Western Cape.
Miya faced 280 counts of fraud.
He received his sentence earlier this week and was given 13 years imprisonment, six of which have been suspended.
He was ordered to serve a further five years for 34 counts of contravening the Electronics Communications Act, which will run concurrently.
Miya’s co-accused, Simphiwe Bulana, was sentenced to five years behind bars which was suspended for five years, after being convicted of 95 counts of fraud and 24 months corrections supervision.
He received an additional five years which was suspended for a period of five years for 18 counts of Contravening the Electronic Communications Act.
The Hawks said their team had discovered that the duo were part of a syndicate and that they were stopped in their tracks in 2018.
Miya had also not been a stranger to the police and was awaiting trial for a case at Table Bay harbour.
Hawks spokesperson Zinzi Hani explained: “Siyasanga Miya, 39, is headed for prison after pleading guilty to using cloned credit cards as payments at various shops around Western Cape.
“This comes after the Hawks’ Serious Commercial Crime team in Cape Town took over cases related to a possible syndicate operating in the Western Cape regarding cloned credit cards. The probe resulted in Siyasanga Miya and Simphiwe Bulana being arrested for the crime spree that took place during 2018.
“Prior to the arrest of Siyasanga Miya on the above mentioned cases he was awaiting trial on another Table Bay harbour-related matter with Simphiwe Bulana. Cases were centralised in the Commercial Crimes Court.”
Hani said the fact that Miya had already been in custody prior to sentencing, had reduced his years to five.
“The court has taken into consideration that Miya has been in custody since his arrest in 2020, meaning he is to effectively serve the remaining five years of imprisonment.
“Additionally, both accused were declared unfit to possess a firearm.”
During an annual report last year, The South African Banking Risk Information Centre (SABRIC) said digital banking fraud had increased by 33 percent.
“Digital banking fraud increased by 33%,” they said.
“Debit card fraud rose by 22%, while on a positive note, credit card fraud decreased by 7%.”