Three women involved in a highly sophisticated internet operation and siphoning of over K66 million from various dollar and Kwacha accounts using forged Visa and Master cards yesterday pleaded guilty to all the 12 counts.

Initially, the trio, Georgina Zimba, 34, a travel agent of Lusaka's Kabulonga area Lisa Taylor, 38, marketing personnel from South Africa and Annelia Baars, 26, unemployed from South Africa had pleaded not guilty to the charges. This was when the matter came up before magistrate, Brian Simango, who also rejected their bail applications because of security reasons.

Taylor, who has three passports, a South African, British and Canadian, is alleged to have siphoned US$6,953.98. Baars had two passports, a Botswana and Ugandan and is alleged to have siphoned K10,146,500 while Zimba a Zambian had siphoned over $6,118.29. This was in a case in which the three were facing 12 counts of forgery, money laundering, obtaining goods and money by false pretences and uttering of false documents. Zimba is facing five counts of forgery, obtaining goods by false pretences, money laundering and two counts of uttering documents.

Baars is facing four counts of forgery, obtaining goods by false pretences, uttering false documents and money laundering while Taylor is charged with three counts of forgery, obtaining goods by false pretences and money laundering.

Zimba is alleged to have forged a credit card number, 4539981440047499, Baars forged two, 5255011755588888 and 4508833616284026 credit cards while Taylor also forged two credit cards numbered 5520335200244093 and 4974037313849545.

The three also obtained goods by false pretences namely, lap tops, colour-printing machine, and cell phones from Gizmos Limited and M and S Connections using the forged credit cards purporting to be genuine when in fact not.

Magistrate Simango lashed out at the women for wasting the court's time knowing well that the crimes committed were illegal and described the situation as unfair and yet they wanted a speedy trial. The matter was adjourned to February 22, for facts and sentencing and the trio remained remanded.

The Times of Zambia