Interdict issued in N$800 000 fraud case

Home Crime and Courts Interdict issued in N$800 000 fraud case


Judge Harald Geier on Friday issued an order interdicting fraud suspect Onesmus Nghitumu Taapopi from dealing with and dissipating the positive balance in an FNB account belonging to a minor by agreement between the parties.

The minor is allegedly the son of Taapopi, who is a suspect in a fraud investigation and trial.

This came after Prosecutor General Martha Imalwa lodged an urgent application in the Windhoek High Court on Friday to safeguard an amount of N$800 000 believed to be the proceeds of a crime.

The urgent application for the interdict will be in force pending the outcome of an appeal Taapopi lodged against a preservation order Judge Geier already issued for the account.

The preservation order is in relation to N$1 061 124 that was paid by the NDF for accommodation services.

The money was paid into the account of Sydney Hassen and Sons Trading cc, which belongs to Taapopi, on September 18, 2014. The following day, N$800 000 was electronically transferred to the FNB account and a cheque for N$250 000 was cashed.

According to an affidavit by Imalwa, the ACC, following a report by the FIC about a suspicious transaction, launched an investigation and discovered that Taapopi approached the NDF in July 2014 and enquired about possible procurement opportunities.

He allegedly informed the NDF that he owns a guesthouse called Aces Guest House.

He was then invited to submit a quotation, which he did. His quote was accepted and he submitted an invoice for 40 percent of the total fee upfront.

After some irregularities were discovered concerning the transaction, the NDF started to investigate and discovered that Taapopi was not the owner of the guesthouse.

It is further alleged that Taapopi managed to secure accommodation for 16 NDF members at the guesthouse under false pretences and that he also duped a certain Jason Iiyambo into paying various amounts to the guesthouse, including buying a geyser and providing the soldiers with lunch and dinner.

It is further said that Taapopi is not registered for tax and as such he committed fraud, theft and money laundering.

The PG charges that Taapopi entered into an agreement with the NDF to house the soldiers while he was in fact not the owner of the guesthouse, therefore making a misrepresentation to the NDF, to their detriment.

His cc, Sydney Hassen and Sons Trading, was not registered for VAT and the VAT number on the invoice does not belong to his cc as such he committed fraud, the PG said.

It is also alleged that Taapopi stole the money of the NDF and the cc because he never paid Aces Guest House after he withdrew the money from the account of Hassen and Sons Trading cc’s account, which he fraudulently opened.

He also failed to repay Iiyambo the money he spent on the guesthouse as well as lunches and dinners he provided for the soldiers.

According to the order, Ace Guest House and Iiyambo are recognised as innocent owners, as the payment made by the NDF to Sydney Hassen and Sons Trading was for services rendered by Ace Guest House and Iiyambo.

Ace Guest House is to be paid N$237 600 and Iiyambo N$84 000 from the N$800 000 and the money is to be paid into the trust account of Sisa Namandje, who in turn shall pay Ace Guest House and Iiyambo.

It was further ordered that the remainder of the money in the FNB account must be paid into an interest bearing account to be placed under the control of ACC investigator Franco Esterhuizen until the finalisation of the appeal.