Bank Intern Arrested in Visa Card Scam

Cimas Medical Aid Society chief finance officer Valarie Muyambo was startled recently to receive messages saying the medical aid society had used its prepaid Visa card to buy online from London and Hong Kong two laptops, three mobile phones and some software, all of which had been asked to be delivered by DHL.

She informed the issuing bank, BancABC, and the authorities were then told when the goods would arrive in Harare, detectives were waiting to see who came to collect.

Irvine Chikoto (22), a National University of Science and Technology banking and investment student serving as an intern at BancABC, had already paid the handling fee by EcoCash when he turned up to collect the laptops, strolled past the waiting team, collected his parcel and was arrested after collecting the goods.

Chikoto appeared before Harare Magistrate Mr Richard Ramaboa on Thursday and was freed on $800 bail, coupled with several conditions including reporting once a week to police.

The court heard that Chikoto was attached to the bank’s head office in the corporate banking department and his duties involved solving client queries and sending account statements to clients.

Prosecuting, Mr Terence Mashaire told the court that BancABC maintains Cimas Medical Aid Society’s Visa prepaid card, which is in the name of Muyambo.

In March, Muyambo sent an email advising BancABC to attend to the society’s Visa card after it had failed to make a payment. This allegedly gave Chikoto an opportunity as he dealt with the query, he accessed the card number, card verification code and expiry date, all that was needed to start ordering online.

Between 23 and 24 March, he allegedly used the card to make online purchases for two laptops from Aliexpress.com London for US$1 324, along with two Samsung S9 and S10 mobile handsets and a Huawei P30 from the same firm for another US$1 032,63 and software from Wondershare Software Hong Kong for US$93,95.

He further paid US$4 099,92 to an online forex trading site called Skrill Ltd — London and US$99,95 to Express VPN.com for a Virtual Private Network.

The goods were to be delivered through DHL and were expected to reach Zimbabwe within 60 days.

On April 26, the laptops were delivered at DHL International whereupon the accused paid $3 240 handling fees using his EcoCash account number and on May 5, Chikoto went to DHL Express Services to collect the laptops and was arrested after collection.

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