Windhoek-A conman who allegedly preyed on unsuspecting prospective students at the Windhoek Vocational Training College (WVTC), and reportedly pocketed N$3,000 from each of his victims under the false pretence he could facilitate their enrolment at WVTC, was nabbed in a sting operation.
Members of the city police acting on a tip-off from those who lost N$3,000 each and even their identity documents, set up a trap and the conman was ensnared, handcuffed and bundled into a waiting police van during the sting operation bringing to an end a well-orchestrated criminal venture.
Before last week’s arrest of the man, potential students desperate to be enrolled at WVTC were caught off-guard and tricked by the street-smart conman who asked them to part with N$3,000 with the empty promise he could facilitate their quick enrolment at the tertiary institution.
Two of the three students known by New Era, were approached by the suspect on the WVTC grounds, which made them believe that he could register them for this year’s intake. Each of the students paid N$3,000 and provided their IDs.
However they became suspicious as the receipts they received did not have a letterhead of the institution or an official stamp. They hatched a plan where they called the suspect the following day purportedly with another prospective student and when the suspect arrived the students notified the security guard at the centre, who then called the Windhoek city police and he was arrested.
Windhoek city police spokesperson, Constable Fabian Amukwalele cautioned prospective students, saying they must be on the lookout as it is during this time of the year criminals target vulnerable youngsters looking for places at different institutions.
He stressed all enrolments should take place in a building or at registration points and not in cars or unauthorised places. WVTC manager Paulus Hango indicated the institution would take legal steps against the suspect. Hango noted students come from other towns looking for enrolment at the centre, and unfortunately some end up falling victim to such scams during the registration process.
He also implied some of the suspects are sometimes people who have studied at the college with knowledge on how the enrolment process is done.
WVTC registration for 2018 started on January 28, and will run until February 15. Hango also heaped praise on the city police saying, “We are grateful that the city police has uncovered the illegal dealings happening on our premises, and action will be taken against this person. We would like to appeal to our students out there to be wary and careful, and not fall victim to such (criminal) acts.”