Woman in court for cheap tickets scam

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iol news pic justice-scale and gavel may 23 INDEPENDENT MEDIA File picture

Cape Town - An alleged member of a syndicate involved in an airline ticket scam appeared in the Specialised Commercial Crime Court in Bellville on Tuesday.

Zita Plew-Chisholm, 33, of Plumstead in Cape Town's southern suburbs, made her 11th appearance before Magistrate Sabrina

Sonnenberg, who told her to be back in court on October 3.

She was arrested on January 18 last year, and later released on warning.

She faces a charge of conspiracy to commit fraud, 162 fraud charges involving R280 906, and one of money laundering.

According to the charge sheet, the syndicate advertised discounted airline tickets for sale, and involved a legitimate travel agency that legitimately provided discounted airline tickets.

The travel agency was known in the syndicate as a “legend”.

Only cash transactions, or bank or money market transactions were acceptable to the syndicate, and transactions could only take place by means of financial instructions.

Victims had to deposit cash into an account specified by the syndicate.

Once deposits were made and confirmed, the syndicate would order the required airline tickets electronically, but make payments with compromised bank cards.

Prosecutor Jacques Smith alleges that Plew-Chisholm's role in the scam was to pose as a bogus travel agent.

The State alleges that she possessed three different bank accounts, two with FNB and one with Absa, into which victims were duped to make payments in the belief that they were buying legitimate discounted airline tickets for cash.


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