A woman from the north was left almost on the brink of destitution after a sweet-talking, bogus herbalist swindled her out of more than N$403 000 in an elaborate scam before he vanished into thin air.
Seemingly with an element of magic, the magician-cum-con-artist convinced the unsuspecting victim that he could multiply to N$3 million the N$200 000 from the N$400 000 bequeathed to the victim through her late mother’s pension and the con artist strangely used a “voice” belonging to her late mother.
In a neat room where the con artist operated from, the victim – who did not want to give her name because she does not want to become the object of ridicule in her community – said: “’Suddenly I could hear my mother’s voice coming from the bowl saying: ‘I want to bless you with N$ 3 million. From that N$400 000 pension I want you to bring N$200 000 here so that we can bless you. If you refuse this N$3 million nothing will go well in your life’.”
“The voice was really my mother’s, and even the letter which was in the money box had my mother’s handwriting – how, I don’t know,” narrated the latest victim of a confidence trickster.
The unknown conman managed to sweet-talk her out of N$N$300 000 in cash while N$50 000 was apparently to cover the fraudster’s expenses and another N$50 000 was spent on a party, which the conman convinced the woman to throw to celebrate the promised fortune that never materialised.
The expenses included a new tombstone for her mother because the trickster had convinced her that her deceased mother was apparently unhappy with the old tombstone and she was also instructed to fork out some money for a white goat and for a new carpet that she handed over to the con artist.
The woman said the conman came into her life shortly before she was to receive her late mother’s relatively hefty pension payout. She claims she did not know how the conman knew her troubles, but almost everything he said to her collaborated with what was happening in her life and he convinced her to get “cleansed”.
When the pension money was paid out to her she told the conman about the money, but at that time she wanted her husband involved and that is when she was informed that she would need to add N$100 000 to make it N$300 000. The woman further narrated that they withdrew the money and met at an agreed lodge.
The voice allegedly informed her to spend the surplus money within 48 hours and asked her to give the conman N$120 000 and her husband N$400 000.
“And because of the time limit, I was asked to throw a party for my people while we waited for the money-sharing day,” explained the victim.
“That day we were introduced to a person named Jacob who made us burn incense sticks while Kevin (the initial con artist) arrived. The money was placed in a big money box and we were asked to leave the room while Kevin performed some rituals,” she further said.
When the woman and husband returned to the ceremony room, they found the box full of money and were informed that her mother had vomited the money for her. The money box was covered up and stored at her office for the money to wait for that “big day” when it would be shared.
“We later realised that we were tricked after sending money several times but to no avail. I was only given the key to the upper part of the money box, however the box was not full of money as said because the bottom part was stuffed with papers and a wet towel and there was only N$4 200 in the upper part,” said the lady.
Jacob also kept milking money out of her including for a trip to South Africa where they allegedly went to secure a carpet for the day of the sharing of money.
Initially, they had bought the carpet at Oshikango but was told the mother was not happy and was asked to top up the N$7 000 she had initially sent with N$12 000 to buy the carpet in South Africa.
The trip to South Africa led to more milking with the fraudster requesting N$18 000 for food, N$10 000 for transport, however the bill had escalated to close to N$40 000 when she became suspicious.
The woman said the owner of the Namibian account in which the money was deposited was arrested shortly before Christmas, however the case was allegedly thrown out of court as she had sent the money willingly.
The rest of the money was paid into a South African account.
She warns the nation against conmen. She said she met the conman at her house when he was in search of a place to rent.
A case has since been registered with the police in Oshana.