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Hotel arrests foil R12m bank fraud plot

Durban - Police say they have foiled an attempt to defraud a Durban bank of R12 million by arresting four men, including a car guard, in an uMhlanga hotel.

The suspects, aged between 30 and 56, were arrested by members of the Provincial Tracking Unit after an investigation into suspected fraud which was to take place at one of the major banks in Durban, said police spokesman, Captain Thulani Zwane.

He said they were arrested on Tuesday at the Coastlands Hotel with a fraudulent credit card belonging to a man from the UK.

Three of the four men, including the car guard, had flown to Durban from Johannesburg while the fourth was from Durban, said Zwane.

The car guard told police he was from KwaDukuza (Stanger).

Police said the suspects were planning to use the car guard and his fraudulent identity document to defraud a bank of R12m.

They did not divulge further details.

Vadi Govender, group operations manager for Coastlands Hotels and Resorts, said the men checked in on Monday night after making an online booking. In accordance with standard procedure, copies of their IDs and credit cards were taken at reception.

“The police came in on Tuesday and requested to see these. When they found them they told the security manager they were going up to the rooms,” he said.

The men had checked into three rooms. Police pounced on them and searched their rooms. Two fake South African IDs were found, one belonging to a Nigerian who is among the suspects, and the other to the car guard.

The car guard had his original ID as well as the fake one with different names, surname and ID number.

The four were all arrested and charged with fraud.

They were expected to appear in Durban Magistrate’s Court on Thursday.

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