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Manquba Parker Ngcobo, a 32 year-old South African, was arrested early this morning (June 20) in Patong on ATM-skimming-related charges, after a pile of cloned ATM cards was found in his room at the Horizon Patong Hotel.
Investigators from Phuket Provincial Police HQ tracked Ngcobo down to his hotel after receiving a complaint from Siam Commercial Bank officer about the fake ATMs being used at banks in Patong, Kata and Karon from Tuesday until Thursday this week.
After tracking hom down to his hotel, police waited until he returned to his room and then knocked on the door. A search of the room quickly turned up 72 cloned cards and a stack of cash.
Ngcobo admitted that he had bought the fake cards from friends in South Africa and had withdrawn money from many places in Phuket. All the victims were South African account holders.
Pol Maj Gen Krajang Suwannarat, Deputy Commissioner of Police Region 8, currently looking after Phuket, said that usually skimming gangs caught at work in Phuket were from Europe; this was the first time an African had been caught on skimming-related charges.
However, he added that he believed that there were other Africans probably engaged in this activity in Phuket.