Mystery shrouds a stash of bank cards allegedly discovered in a refuse bag meant for disposal. The cards containing confidential information about almost 100 residents were discovered on Monday near Ulinda’s Spaza in Victoria Park.
Gershwin de Wet, who was in possession of the cache, said he was drawn to the cards when he saw a child playing with them in the street. Upon asking the child, he was allegedly directed to an unattended refuse bag opposite the shop containing a hoard of other cards, along with banking slips.
“I noticed this boy sitting there when I came out of the shop. I noticed a stack of cards next to him with a fidelity bag lying there. When I asked him where he had got the cards, he pointed to the bags,” said De Wet.
“I went to the shop (Ulinda’s) and asked the owner if he knew about the bags and if he knew there was information (cards) in the bag,’ added De Wet.
According to De Wet, Cedric O’Connor, the owner of Ulinda’s, said the bags only had banking slips which were taken out during maintenance of the ATM. When confronted with the cards he allegedly told his employee to bring the bag inside the shop.
Speaking to The Rep, O’Connor confirmed that the black bag had come from his shop. He claimed that the cards were from an Absa ATM in his premises.
“That boy (De Wet) is a Komani Hospital patient. I told him to give me the cards, but he refused. I explained they were from the ATM and removed during maintenance. He did not listen and insisted on taking them,” said O’Connor.
He said he later called the police who did not come, and also informed Absa about the cards.
Absa managing executive, Tshiwela Mhlantla said they were informed about the cards, but could not comment on their origin and authenticity.
“The landlord of the property where the ATM is stationed informed us of the discovery of bank cards by a member of the public.
“We understand that the conscientious citizen who found the cards reported these bank cards to the police. Absa cannot comment on the origin or authenticity of the cards found and will assist the authorities if a formal investigation is launched.
“We take our fiduciary responsibilities seriously and implement stringent processes for dealing with matters pertaining to client information. This includes a rigorous process for managing retained bank cards at our ATMs. However, out of deep concern Absa did investigate and cross-check our systems and we can account for the cards that have been retained by our ATMs in the area and reported by customers,” said Mhlantla.