Suspected bank fraudster languishes in prison

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Maria Amakali

Windhoek-The man accused of defrauding a local commercial bank of N$4 million is still behind bars following the investigative officer’s plea with the court to be granted more time to finalise investigations into the matter.

Winston Manale 33, who voluntarily handed himself over to the police in January 2016 after a search warrant was issued against him in December 2015, when the bank discovered Manale had a hand in the missing millions, has been in custody waiting for the police to finalise their probe.

However, yesterday Detective Sergeant Joseph Mundia informed the court the investigations are far from over.

“I still need to obtain statements from three witnesses who do not reside in the capital,” explained Mundia after the court enquired why there has been a delay in finalising investigations.

According to Mundia, a month is all the time he needs to finally close his investigations into the massive fraud.

Manale’s defence lawyer Meriam Kenaruzo was adamant about the proposal, stating his client has been sitting in jail after the court refused him bail.

Kenaruzo informed the court that it should be the final postponement for finalization of police investigations.

According to a summary of substantial facts contained in the charge sheet, Manale faces a charge of theft and fraud for allegedly embezzling funds from Standard Bank between September 2013 and December 2015.

At the time Manale was working at Standard Bank Namibia’s Trust Account Division in Windhoek when he allegedly defrauded the bank’s clients by transferring payments from the trust fund into his personal bank account.

Manale has stood his ground by pleading not guilty on both charges.

Magistrate Venatius Sebby Alweendo postponed the matter to August 16 for the police to finalise their investigations.

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