Estate agent Erwin Spangers sent to jail for eight years

A Walvis Bay estate agent found guilty in the High Court of five counts of theft by conversion and one count of money laundering involving about N.dollars 6.7 million, was on Friday sent to jail for an effective eight years.

The stolen N.dollars 6.7 million belongs Francios Olenga, an army general from the Democratic Republic of Congo.

On the five counts of theft by conversion, Erwin Sprangers, 62, was sentenced to 14 years imprisonment of which six years were suspended for a period of five years on condition that the estate agent is not found guilty of any offence related to theft during the period of suspension.

Sprangers, on the count of money laundering, was sentenced to six years imprisonment which was wholly ordered to run concurrently with the sentence imposed in respect of the five counts of theft by conversion.

He was, therefore, sentenced to an effective total of eight years imprisonment by High Court Judge Eileen Rakow who handed down the punishment.

In her ruling, Judge Rakow said the prosecution has proved beyond reasonable doubt that Sprangers had used the Congolese general’s money without his permission and the estate agent is thus guilty of theft by conversion.

According to court papers, this matter arises from a business transaction between Sprangers and Olenga during January 2010, when it was agreed that Olenga would deposit US.dollars 900 000 into the trust banking account of Sprangers’ estate agency, Kintcher Estates, as trust money for the development of two properties the Congolese general owned at the coast or for the acquisition of further properties for Olenga.

Sprangers then misrepresented to Olenga that he would only spend the funds on “expenditure expressly approved” by Olenga and would upon demand pay back the funds to the general.

During the period extending from 10 February 2010 to 06 July 2010, the complainant’s funds totalling N.6 785 318.76 were transferred by Breadfield Trade Ltd on the instructions of Olenga in five tranches into the Kintscher Estate Agents and Auctioneers’ First National Bank banking account.

Once the money was in the bank account, Sprangers, between 01 February 2010 and 31 December 2010 stole or misappropriated it and or converted all of the general’s money for his own use.

In addition, Sprangers was also hit with another court order to pay Olenga US.dollars 850 000 by High Court Judge Thomas Masuku during a civil suit by Olenga to recover his money.

Sprangers is a first-time offender with no record of previous convictions.

He is a father of five children.

Sprangers showed no remorse during the trial in respect of his wrong-doing actions and was not in a position to pay a fine.

He was represented by Windhoek-based defence lawyer, Attorney Jan Wessels.

State Advocate Erick Moyo appeared for the prosecution.

Source: Namibia Press Agency