By MIRIAM ZARRIGA
POLICE are warning users of bank cards to be wary of a money laundering syndicate operating in the country after complaints of money going missing from people’s accounts.
Assistant Commissioner of Police Crimes Hodges Ette told The National that a married couple in West New Britain had already been arrested by police after the money which went missing from two personal accounts were traced to their bank account.
The money went missing from the accounts of two Papua New Guineans.
“They noticed money missing from their accounts amounting to K2,000 and K5,000,” he said.
ACP Ette said the money from one account was transferred from one bank to another, and finally ended in the personal account of the married couple in WNB.
“The couple were arrested and charged by the Police Cybercrime Unit who tracked the money to West New Britain,” he said.
He said thieves were “becoming technologically savvy”.
“They are buying electronic gadgets from overseas and using them to clone cards from financial institutions,” ACP Ette said.
“We know there are gadgets in the country used in cloning several bank cards and they are being used to remove money from accounts.
“Police are aware that similar complaints have surfaced from several provinces which have high economic activity, and not just in NCD.”
ACP Ette urged banks and financial institutions to lodge complaints with the police Organised Crime Unit or the Transnational Crime Unit or Cyber Crime Unit based at police headquarters should they uncover or suspect any such activities affecting their clients.
He said police had earlier picked up the trail from a case in Madang, in which a teacher had found her card swapped at the ATM by a man pretending to help her.
“Police were able to find the man and upon a search of his home, more bank cards from other unsuspecting customers including blank cards were found.”
By MIRIAM ZARRIGA