Court remands student for stealing ATM cards

BY: Emelia Ennin Abbey

The Abeka District Court has remanded a 23-year-old student for allegedly stealing ATM cards from their owners and using it to fraudulently withdraw money from the accounts of the owners.

The accused, Morgan Addo, who claims to be a student of a university in Accra (name withheld), is said to have stolen the ATM cards of scores of customers of different banks.

In one bank, he is accused of stealing the ATM cards of 13 customers and was arrested after he dishonestly took an ATM card from one of his victims after pretending to help the owner of the card near a bank at Abeka Lapaz.

The court presided over by Mrs. Adwoa Akyaamaa Ofosu remanded Addo after he pleaded not guilty to the offence.
He is to reappear on October 19, 2021.

The court heard that Addo lurked around ATMs and steps forward to help users who experience challenges. His victims were mostly the aged and people who were new at the use of ATMs.

Prosecuting Chief Inspector Stephen Ahiale told the court that on September 26, 2021, a shop attendant went to withdraw money from an ATM with his visa card from a bank at Lapaz.

The shop attendant, who is now the complainant in the case, met Addo who pretended he was also at the scene to withdraw money from the ATM.

When the complainant tried to withdraw money with his visa card the transaction could not go through and he attempted to seek help from the private security officer of the bank but Addo quickly offered to help.

While Addo offered to help, the complainant without suspicion entered his secret code in the presence of Addo but the transaction failed to go through.

Addo then asked the complainant to give him the Visa card claiming he wanted to check if it had expired.

After receiving the card, Addo swapped the card with another card he had been holding on the blind side of the complainant.

The complainant, not knowing his visa card had been changed, inserted the visa card in the ATM but the machine rejected it.

Arrest

Addo at that point made an attempt to escape but the complainant raised an alarm leading to his arrest; he was then handed over to the police for investigation.

At the police station, a search conducted on Addo led to the retrieval of a visa card bearing the name Dinah Ofosu Aikins, apart from that of the complainant.

When Addo was questioned about the card with the female name he told the police that he found it at Madina Trotro station.

The prosecutor told the court that investigations had established that Addo had committed a series of such thefts at different locations and he was wanted by four different police stations where cases had been filed against him.

During interrogations, the prosecutor said, Addo admitted to the offence in his caution statement and he was charged for dishonest appropriation of visa cards.