By Nqobile Tshili
A 28 year old man from Bulawayo has been arrested after he allegedly stole $17 000 from a pensioner’s bank account before splashing the money on a car and transferring funds to other accounts.
Thubelihle Nyathi from Old Luveve suburb was supposed to help pensioner Mr Nketa Moses Ngoga (60) buy a car but instead disappeared with his bank card before wiping the elderly man’s account clean.
Bulawayo deputy police spokesperson Inspector Abednico Ncube confirmed Nyathi’s arrest saying he will appear in court soon.
“We have arrested a man from Bulawayo who is suspected to have stolen $17 000 from a pensioner. It was discovered that the suspect made three transactions using his victim’s bank account. He used $6 500 to buy himself a car. He also transferred $9 900 to a different account before making his last transaction where he transferred $1 600 to another account,” he said.
Insp Ncube urged members of the public to desist from giving people their bank details.
“This incident proves to us that members of the public are not heeding our calls. These two people did not know each other to the extent of giving one party bank details. Members of the public should rather seek assistance at institutions where they want to conduct their transactions instead of trusting random people in the streets as they often turn out to be crooks,” he said.
Sources said Nyathi met Mr Ngoga in Plumtree Town at the beginning of last month.
The old man requested assistance to buy groceries as he did not know how to use plastic money facilities.
“It seems while he assisted Mr Ngoga with his groceries, the old man then told him that he wanted to buy a car as he had received a pension lump sum. Nyathi told him that he had connections in Bulawayo who could assist him buy a car and they exchanged contacts,” said the source.
He said on Monday last week, Mr Ngoga met Nyathi hoping that he would help him to buy the car.
“They went to a local car dealer who however wanted $10 000 cash for the car that the old man wanted. The pair left and Nyathi took Mr Ngoga to a local hotel leaving him there. He took away his bank card promising to buy the car and bring it to him,” he said.
The source said Nyathi disappeared the whole day prompting the old man to report the matter to the police.
“The police made inquiries with the old man’s Bank and it was discovered that the account had been cleared. The police initiated a manhunt for Nyathi leading to his arrest. He was found in the company of a woman. He had withdrawn the money on three different occasions,” said the source.
He said on Wednesday police arrested Nyathi and discovered that he had bought a Nissan Sunny for $6 500.
Efforts to get a comment from Ngoga were fruitless as he was not reachable on his mobile phone.