Foreigner on card cloning charges

Johannesburg - A Bulgarian man accused of cloning bank cards appeared in the Johannesburg Specialised Commercial Crime Court on Wednesday, the Hawks said.

The fraud case against Svetozar Pavlov Spasov, 38, was postponed to June 19, Captain Paul Ramaloko said.

Spasov was arrested in his Bedfordview apartment on Monday in an operation between the commercial crime unit of the Directorate for Priority Crime Investigation, the Hawks in Gauteng, and the SA Banking Risk Information Centre.

Ramaloko said Spasov was allegedly a card-cloning syndicate ringleader.

“It is believed that he had tampered with numerous ATMs in Gauteng by mounting card-skimming devices to copy ATM users’ information,” he said.

The device copies the information on a card's magnetic strip. This is transferred onto another card, which is used to withdraw money from the victim's account.

Police confiscated camera moulds for high-tech devices, a card writer, counterfeit cards, laptops, cellphones, iPads, and uncut diamonds.

“The team will use the cloned information on the cards and computers to determine the extent of the loss suffered by the victims,” Ramaloko said.