A prominent Windhoek-based businessman and his alleged accomplice appeared in the Windhoek Magistrate’s Court on Monday on a charge of credit card fraud. It is suspected that they fleeced their victims of large amounts of money that could run into millions of Namibian Dollars.
Johannes Nambahu alone also faces a charge of bribery after he allegedly tried to bribe the police officers that arrested him.
It is alleged by the State that Nambahu and Frans Hosea Megameno used credit cards that did not belong to them to make huge purchases. According to the police, the amounts involved could run into several million Namibian Dollars.
While information is sketchy at present, it is alleged that they – with the help of middlemen at a local courier company – allegedly stole the credit cards when the cards were sent from overseas with the pin numbers and then used these to make purchases.
More arrests are expected soon, it was revealed by Public Prosecutor Rowan van Wyk when he objected to bail when Nambahu and Megameno made their first court appearance.
According to Van Wyk, there exists a real risk that the accused may abscond to avoid standing trial. He further informed Magistrate Ingrid Unengu that the State fears the accused will interfere with the investigation, which is at a very sensitive stage and that there are other suspects. He further argued that it will not be in the interest of justice for the accused to be released at this stage.
Local lawyer Mabushandje Ntinda from Sisa Namandje Inc. is representing both accused on private instructions. He indicated to the court that he will formally apply for bail for both Nambahu and Megameno when the case returns to court on July 28.
In an unrelated case a 36-year old Namibian male appeared in court on Friday on a charge of theft from an ATM machine. It is alleged that Nataniel Nawa stole cash of N$15 800 on July 10 by withdrawing the money from an ATM machine. The money was in the lawful possession of Lorraine Paulina Shikwambi. According to the police, the accused tampered with the ATM machine and when the victim came to withdraw money, he pretended to assist her and in that way got hold of her ATM card and pin number. Upon enquiry as to how the accused managed to withdraw such an amount, New Era was told that some criminals are highly intuitive and “know how to manoeuvre” (sic) the ATM machines.
Nawa was not asked to plead and his case was postponed to October 10. His legal rights were explained to him and he indicated that he would conduct his own defence and intends to plead not guilty to the charges.
Bail he was denied on the grounds that the amount involved is high and none of the money has so far been recovered. There are also fears Nawa might interfere with investigations and may commit similar offences if released on bail, as the offence was committed while he was out on bail for a similar offence. He was advised to submit a formal bail application in due course.