Two Clients of ours went on our Botswana Breakaway Safari which they enjoyed to the fullest – you may have read their blog last month about their holiday. However, on their return through OR Tambo International Airport they had an unpleasant situation. Read about what they wrote to the Getaway Magazine which was published in the October issue.
My wife Irene and I arrived home after a splendid safari holiday in Zambia, Botswana and Namibia. The tour operator was Jenmans, a company I cannot praise highly enough. They took care of us and, even after our tour, continued to treat us as clients. The safari was great, but the four extra nights in Zambia and Johannesburg were another experience.
Somewhere on tour we picked up a copy of the July edition of Getaway. I have just read the article ‘Stop Thief!’ by David Bristow about the theft of luggage at OR Tambo International Airport. This prompted me to tell you about the other forms of theft targeting unwary travelers (like us) at the airport.
While we were in La Zambie I had lost my wallet with some cash and all my credit cards. The cards were cancelled, so no big deal really, just a little tight with the funds. As we were returning to our hotel, we were mugged at knifepoint by two youths. Nobody was hurt and a taxi driver gave chase, retrieving our bag with the contents intact. We flew home the next day through OR Tambo Airport, where we had a four-hour wait for our flight to Heathrow. During this time, we made three purchases using my wife’s Maestro card from three shops in the international duty-free area. As we couldn’t use our Maestro cards in the countries on our tour, these transactions were the only ones made while in Africa.
Imagine our consternation when our bank contacted us two days later with the news that our card had been skimmed and our account lightened to the tune of EUR 1550 (about R18300), all transactions were made from Joburg ATM’s. It would not take Sherlock Holmes to crack this case as simple logic dictates that the thief was an employee of one of the only three shops. Seems like an ideal opportunity to catch a thief, but nobody was interested, certainly not our bank.
I have written an e-mail to the Airports Company of south Africa.
Frank and Irene Gaffney, Ireland
(Source: Getaway Magazine, October 2008)