Sisters Accused of Fraud Get Hefty Bail

The two sisters who are accused of defrauding United Africa Group (UAG) to the tune of N$700 000 were granted bail with stringent conditions by Magistrate Justine Asino last week. Annalise Bok and Jessica Dentlinger will each have to fork out N$70 000 to taste fresh air again.

It was further ordered that they report twice daily from Monday to Sunday in the morning between 08h00 and 09h00, and in the evening between 18h00 and 19h00 to the investigating officer at the Commercial Crimes Division. Another bail condition is that they may not leave the district of Windhoek without the prior knowledge and permission of the investigating officer. Bok and her sister must not interfere with state witnesses, one of whom is their mother, and they must hand in their travelling documents and not apply for new ones till the trial is finalised.

It was also ordered that they must not come into contact or interfere with the employees of Protea Furstenhof Hotel where Bok was employed during the commissioning of the offence and must not come within 300 metres of the hotel. Protea Hotels are part of the UAG Group. The two accused’s legal representative, James Diedericks, told the court that he accepted all the conditions, but made a special plea that Bok, who in the meantime lost her residence in Windhoek, be allowed to reside in Rosh Pinah. Public prosecutor Samantha Diergaardt would however none of that saying it had not been established whether the property in Rosh does indeed exist and who the owner is. She also had an issue with Rosh Pinah’s proximity to South Africa.

According to Diergaardt it will easier for Bok to abscond to South Africa if she is allowed to stay in Rosh Pinah. She said the State is in possession of information indicating that Bok had secured employment in South Africa prior to her arrest. She also had a problem with the bail amount suggested by Diedericks. She said that while it is trite law that bail should not be seen as a form of anticipatory punishment, it should serve as an inducement for an accused to stand trial. She said the N$15 000 suggested by the defence would not have that effect. According to Diergaardt, Bok was employed at the hotel where the money was defrauded and paid into various bank accounts of Dentlinger. Asino agreed with Diergaardt and added that at the start of the trial the accused offered to pay N$30 000 bail each.

She said that the accused’s personal circumstances were not placed on record and that no reasons were provided why they could not afford a lesser amount. The sisters were apprehended near Keetmanshoop allegedly on their way to South Africa to evade capture. They are appearing on a charge of fraud. According to the charge sheet, Bok who was employed at Protea Furstenhof Hotel paid money meant for suppliers into the bank accounts of her sister.

Source : New Era