More to Be Arrested in N$5 Million Fraud Case

The Anti-Corruption Commission (ACC) has expressed confidence in arresting more people in connection with the recent swindle of N$4.9 million from the Ministry of Works and Transport.

Six people, including three government employees, were already arrested in June and July, but the ACC told New Era yesterday that more arrests were expected.

The government employees arrested last month were ministry of health employees Ndapandula Kashiyukile (42) and Barend Neels (49), as well as 27-year-old Castro Lifalaza, an accountant in the works ministry.

Also arrested were 52-year-old Manuel Heyn, Jacobus Gurirab (43) and businessman Brown Rasta, aged 39.

The sextet was arrested by the ACC between 19 June and 18 July, after a local commercial bank alerted the authorities about a suspicious transaction that the suspects had intended to complete.

s supposed to be channelled into the account of K L Construction, was diverted into the bank account of Etanaka Trading Zone cc, a company allegedly owned by Heyn.

The intended recipient of the money, K L Construction, was awarded the tender to construct the road between Oshigambo and Eenhana, bordering the Oshikoto and Ohangwena regions.

During its investigations, the ACC found that Lifalaza, the works ministry accountant, facilitated the process of diverting the money from K L Construction’s account to that of Etanaka.

It has so far been established that Etanaka has no business relations with the works ministry or with K L Construction.

“It is alleged that Mr Gurirab approached Mr Barend Johannes Neels at the Ministry of Health and Social Services to request the change of banking details of K L Construction (Pty) Ltd to Etanaka Trading Zone cc,” ACC spokesperson Albert Mbanga told New Era upon inquiry yesterday.

Neels apparently involved his colleague Kashiyukile, who authored a letter to the Ministry of Finance with instructions to pay the money into – unbeknown to the finance ministry – Etanaka’s bank account. This was supposedly because K L Construction had changed its banking details and had requested that the money be paid into the newly-provided account.

New Era previously reported that the suspects, in order to ascertain that the money was paid into Etanaka’s account, first withdrew N$500 from an ATM before proceeding inside the bank where they requested to withdraw N$500 000.

It was at this juncture that bank officials got suspicious, capped by the fact that money was deposited into the bank account barely 24 hours earlier.

The ACC was alerted and the six people were subsequently arrested. The suspects appeared in the Windhoek Magistrate’s Court on 23 June and were granted bail of N$30 000 each. “The Anti-Corruption Commission is still investigating the case and more arrests are expected,” Mbanga said.

Source : New Era