Pensioner loses N$400k in scam

18 January 2019 | Crime

A 60-year-old woman at Oshakati has lost N$405 000 in an extortion scam staged by fraudsters pretending to be police officers.

The incident happened between June and December last year, Commissioner Rauha Amwele of the Oshana police has confirmed.

The resident of Onangodhi village near Oshakati fell prey to fraudsters who pretended to be officers of the National Traffic Information System (NaTIS), the Anti-Corruption Commission (ACC) and the Namibian police.

Commissioner Amwele says two suspects have been arrested and the police investigation continues.

Shafashike Immanuel (30) and Hendrick Haihambo (35) appeared before the Oshakati Magistrate Court on charges of robbery and theft under false pretence. They were denied bail.

It is alleged that after failing to obtain a learner's licence despite several attempts, the woman received a call from one of the accused who pretended to be a NaTIS official.

He offered to help her obtain a licence for a fee. The two agreed to meet where the victim was to hand over the money.

“While they were busy with their deal, the second suspect showed up in a vehicle pretending to be an ACC official. He ordered the two to pay him a certain amount of money or else he would get them arrested,” said a source familiar with the case.

It is reported that the victim cooperated and paid again. After a few days the suspects called her again, pretending to be police officers.

The blackmailers said a criminal case had been opened against her and that she had to pay to get the charges withdrawn.





According to the police source, the woman made several payments, totalling N$405 000.

The woman later reported the matter to the police and the two men were arrested.

Commissioner Amwele said when the case was first reported to her the amount was N$385 000.

“So far two suspects have been arrested in connection with this case and police investigations continue.”

Amwele said people should be wary of secret business dealings with strangers, because fraud cases are on the rise.

“We must try by all means to follow proper procedures to acquire whatever we want. If we fail, let just try again until such a time we can get it right,” Amwele said.

“We must also know how the police and ACC system works to avoid falling victim. When police or ACC officials are investigating you, they will inform you but they will never ask you to pay them.”

Amwele said the majority of people falling victim to fraud are those desperate to get rich quick.

ILENI NANDJATO

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