An investigative report in The City Press (22 December 2013) says that two Gauteng private investigators, and two former bank employees, have been arrested for allegedly selling bank statements.
One of the bank employees earned R50,000 for selling statements, while the other charged R50 per statement.
A private investigator told City Press that corporates often purchase the illegally obtained information to learn about competitors or potential business partners.
Reportedly, there is now a flourishing business of investigators who illegally obtain and sell private information, including telephone records and bank statements.
Two syndicates have now been exposed following the Hawk’s arrest of two private investigators, two bank employees, an intermediary, and a businessman. The six are scheduled to appear in court in February.
The two banks implicated, FNB and Standard Bank, reportedly denied that any such security breaches were possible, despite stolen bank statements and other evidence in the hands of complainants.
Over a year on from the initial complaints, the two banks admitted there was irregular activity on their client’s accounts. Employees have since been dismissed from both banks following internal investigations, and criminal charges laid.