Prosecution last Friday pleaded with court to further remand three Bulgarians accused of ATM money scam in custody as there was reasonable suspicion linking them to the offence.
Plamen Nikolaev Pandor 44, Liliya Nikolaeva Borisova 26 and Dimitar Borislavov Angelou 36 were arrested mid last month for a high profile electronic card information theft linked to FNB ATM and bank account scam.
On the first count, the trio is facing an offence of unauthorised access to computer service and on second count they are charged with an offence of unlawful possession of computer devices.
The charge sheet reads that “on or about 11 March 2018 near FNB, Riverwalk mall acting together and in consent unlawfully inserted a skimming device at an FNB ATM machine to introspect data”. It further states that on March 20, 2018 the trio was found in possession of items designed for the process of committing cyber crime.
Asked to take a plea, Pandor pleaded guilty to both counts whilst Borisova and Angelou pleaded not guilty.
“Ever since my arrest, I have been cooperating with the police and have told them nothing but the truth that the devices belong to me and I have pleaded guilty to the offence.
Borisova who is my girlfriend and Angelou had only visited me here from Bulgaria they do not know anything about the offence charged with.”
Appearing before Principal Magistrate Goodwill Makofi, representing State prosecution, Sharpe Dubula said the trio should remain on remand, as there are reasonable grounds to believe that they have a case to answer.
He said despite the duo pleading not guilty to the offence, the State has enough evidence to prosecute them.
“The said skimming devices have been sent for forensic testing, hence awaiting results. If we can receive the result anytime from now, we would be ready to commence trial,” Dubula said. Dubula told court that facts were not ready for Pandor but in terms of Borisova and Angelou they are ready to proceed to trial.
The Bulgarians are suspected to have been behind the recent spate of FNB ATM money scams where money was wiped out of customers’ bank accounts.
However, since November last year the police have been on their toes looking for the perpetrators behind the ATM money scams as there were reports that people’s money across banks was mysteriously withdrawn from their accounts locally and through international fake bank accounts.