An informer’s tip-off to police about a suspicious parcel at a courier company, led to a cat and mouse game to apprehend the recipient.
The parcel contained three illegal skimming devices, used in the manufacture of fake bank cards, a court in Cape Town heard on Thursday.
In the dock of the Specialised Commercial Crime Court in Bellville, before magistrate Sabrina Sonnenberg, was Mtheto Dayile, 36, facing two charges relating to violations of the Electronic and Communications Transactions Act.
He has pleaded not guilty, and has free legal representation in the person of legal aid lawyer Harley Cloete.
Constable Mnoneleli Mtamnani, called to the stand by prosecutor Denzyl Combrink, said he was attached to the Crime Intelligence Unit at Bishop Lavis, on the Cape Flats.
He told the court of a tip off from an informer in November last year. He said his duty included working with informants, who tip him off about crime.
The information was about a suspicious parcel that had arrived at a courier company, suspected to contain skimming devices.
He informed his manager, who authorised him to follow up on the information.
He went to the company, and informed the manager of the reason for his presence.
The manager said the company had the right to open any suspect parcel to inspect the contents, and to then seal the parcel again as if nothing had happened.
At his request, the manager opened the parcel, to find a box inside in bubble wrapping. The box contained three smaller boxes, each containing a skimming device.
The constable took the parcel for safe-keeping to his office in Bishop Lavis, where it was locked in a safe in accordance with procedures.
The courier manager was to call him as soon as the recipient arrived, the constable said.
He received four calls from the manager, but each time he returned to the company the recipient (Dayile) had managed to disappear without the parcel.
On the fourth visit to the company to keep observation, Diyale arrived and approached the two police officials dressed in plain clothes, to ask where the nearest internet cafe was.
The constable told the court: “We explained where it was but, instead of going to the cafe, Dayile went to the courier company.
“We followed, and asked him what he was doing. He said he was looking for work.
“We searched him, and found the waybill pertaining to the parcel, as well as his ID on him.
“We also asked for his cellphone, and established that the cellphone number was the same as reflected on the waybill.”
The constable said they arrested Dayile and, on the way to the Bishop Lavis police station Dayile said the parcel was intended for a Nigerian man, and that this was the first time that Dayile had done this.
The case continues on November 2.
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