By Gareth Wilson
TWO bank employees who pleaded guilty to stealing R99 000 from a client‘s account were sentenced in the Port Elizabeth commercial crimes court.
Former Govan Mbeki branch First National Bank (FNB) client consultants Mandisa Mcoseli, 34, and Sam Selokoma, 43, were sentenced by magistrate Johan Potgieter to a year‘s imprisonment, suspended for five years, and three years correctional supervision, including 16 hours of community service.
The FNB client realised his debit card was missing in May 2007, prompting him to cancel the card with the bank. “He then went to FNB to have the missing card cancelled and a new one issued,” according to a court document.
In late July the businessman went to the bank when he found his newly issued debit card had been blocked.
Another consultant at the time advised him to apply for another card.
“He used the new card at the auto-teller machine outside the bank and discovered that his account was now reduced by R99057,” said the document.
As the investigation unraveled, the court heard how, on July 2, the new card was fraudulently issued from the terminal of another FNB employee.
“Video footage of the bank shows that no client was present at the bank when the new card was issued,” it said.
On the same day Selokoma cancelled the “incontact” alert system on the clients account.
This prevented any cellphone text messages from being sent when a transaction was made.
The following day Selokoma cancelled the client‘s valid card so that he would not be able to use it.
Records show that the card was used for 28 cash withdrawals, the majority of them being R3000 each, as well as various other high amount purchases.
Both Mcoseli and Selokoma admitted to the charge of fraud.
“We admit that the what we did was wrong,” stated the duo in their guilty plea to the court.
FNB‘s provincial executive for the Eastern Cape, Bennet Mdebuka, said FNB had measures in place to ensure that this types of criminal activity did not happen without the wrongdoers getting caught. “We do not believe people can steal from us, or our clients, and we cannot, and will not, allow employees to do so.”
He stressed that the bank showed zero tolerance towards anyone who stole from them or their clients.
He said that all the banks and the ATMs had video surveillance cameras that ensured people who commit these crimes got caught.
“In situations like this we also have our own internal investigation together with our forensic experts. ”
Mdebuka said that in cases such as these the money stolen was reimbursed to the client.