A Drug Enforcement Commission (DEC) officer has narrated to the Lusaka Magistrates’ Court how he found 51 ATM cards and point of sale machines in a house belonging to some Chinese men.

In this matter, Li Hong Sheng, 29, and Weng Jin Chang, 36, are charged with four counts of unlawful possession of a device designed to overcome security measures for protection of data, unauthorised access of data, theft and unlawful stay in the country.

In count one, it is alleged that between May 1 and July 10, this year, in Lusaka, Li and Weng possessed Automated Transmission (ATM) cards which were primarily designed to overcome security measures for the protection of data.

In count two, it is alleged that on the same dates, the two intentionally accessed data stored in a critical database namely, Zambia National Commercial Bank (ZANACO) database.

In the third count, it is alleged that on the same dates, Li and Weng stole K17,500, property of ZANACO.

And in the last count, it is alleged that on May 8, this year, Li, a foreigner of Chinese nationality, remained in Zambia without an immigration permit or authority.

Li pleaded guilty to unlawful stay in Zambia and was sentenced to a K30,000 fine.

And when the matter came up for trial before magistrate Mwaka Mikalile, Monday, Francis Phiri testified that on June 8 this year, he received a call from DEC head office where he was briefed that some foreigners were dealing in suspected ATM cards.

He told the court that he assembled some officers and they proceeded to the suspect’s house in Olympia.

Phiri said upon arrival, he was ushered into the house where he found four Chinese, two males and two females.

He added that he introduced his team and executed the warrant.

Phiri further testified that when he conducted a search in the sitting room, he found a Lenovo Thinkpad with a transparent card reader and mouse connected to it, adding that the Lenovo belonged to Li.

He said he then proceeded to Li’s bedroom where he conducted a search and found two brown and black bags.

“The black bag contained 17 ATM cards and Li’s passport. The brown one had 13 ATM cards and passport sized photos. In the same room, I came across two card readers and two point of sale machines,” Phiri said.

He said the search was extended to two other bedrooms where he found 21 ATM cards, adding that he also seized assorted journals which he explained as being receipts obtained after using an ATM.

Phiri said he later picked the four suspects and handed over to the anti money laundering department.

Trial continues on September 10 this year.