Conman blows $2 600 loot on cigarettes

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Codelia Mondela, Court Reporter
A Bulawayo man allegedly disguised himself by wearing a black jacket, black hat and glasses before defrauding a 60-year-old man of $2 697 at a ZB bank ATM.

Caleb Murawa (41) of Njube, a court heard, blew the entire amount on 240 bricks of cigarettes (Everest and Madison) at a supermarket, a few minutes after conning Mr Sindiso Mabhena.

Murawa was in the bank queue when he allegedly pretended to be a Good Samaritan.

Mr Sindiso Mabhena, the court heard was having challenges in checking his account balance at the bank situated along corner Jason Moyo and Eighth Avenue.

Murawa is alleged to have offered to help and switched Mr Mabhena‘s ATM card.

Yesterday Murawa pleaded not guilty to a charge of fraud before magistrate Ms Gladmore Mushove.

Ms Mushove remanded him out of custody to Thursday for trial after he said he had not been served with State papers.

Mr Mabhena said Murawa was wearing a black jacket, dark glasses and a hat on the day and the CCTV camera at the bank also showed that his clothing obscured his face.

Prosecuting, Mr Kudakwashe Jaravaza said Murawa defrauded Mr Mabhena on August 1, this year at about midday.

He said Murawa approached Mr Mabhena and offered to help him after he noticed that he was having problems in operating the ATM.

“Murawa told Mr Mabhena to insert his ATM card and enter his pin to check his balance,” he said.

“He quickly inserted a similar card into the ATM and gave it to Mr Mabhena before walking away. Mr Mabhena punched the pin for the second time not knowing that the card had been switched and the machine declined,” Mr Jaravaza said.

The court heard that Mr Mabhena approached the bank officials who checked with his account number and notified him that his ATM card had been used to buy goods at a city supermarket.

Mr Jaravaza said Murawa was identified at an identification parade at Bulawayo Central Police Station.

@MondelaC

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  • xhiba

    where was the security guard , in most atms the guard does not allow two persons at the machine at the same time and if one is facing challenges, the security guard usually is the one who assists the client, did the cigarretes have the value of $2 600?

    • N. Sithole

      Security guards at banks are lax. One would think that they they work hand in hand with such conmen. My mother was robbed of her money exactly the same way and I have no doubt it is the same conman. He buys cigarettes for resale so that he quickly gets cash.

    • Namhla

      The guard is mainly there to make sure the bank’s property (The ATM) is not vandalized. With some banks, he is actually not allowed to assist customers in performing a transaction but sometimes it’s not easy for him to sit there and watch while a customer struggles or when asked by a customer for help.

  • Fairer

    The law should take its course.At least the conman was caught and should be made to pay for his thieving.

  • isakhamuzi sasekadeni

    elders should be accompanied by family relatives when going to the bank or be given special priority to be served by tellers, banks are contributing to such robberies. Respect the elderly, some people are not computer literate but are expected to use touch screen atm without any help. we are still a developing country.

    • Nkosilathi

      Very good Suggestion

  • khamarada

    if this is what the elders are encountering in the automated teller machines, what more of the voting BVR being introduced by ZEC, l foresee total chaos