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Ex-cop appears for N$10m fraud

2022-09-23  Roland Routh

Ex-cop appears for N$10m fraud

A former police officer who studied information technology made a first appearance at the Windhoek High Court yesterday on charges of fraud, alternatively theft, money laundering, forgery and uttering.

It is alleged by the State that Ricardo Nghilifavali Nestor used the skills he acquired through his studies to swindle Namibia Marble and Granite (NAMAGRA) near Karibib and/or Carmen Bianca Wittreich out of N$10 million. He allegedly hacked the internet banking profile of NAMAGRA and authorised the payment of N$10 million from the company’s Call Account to its business account. 

From there he allegedly made payments of N$5.515 million as follows: N$4 million to AltCoin Trader, N$500 000 to Sanele Nkosi, N$500 000 to Lethuvuyo Trading and Projects, 16 x N$20 000 salary payments and 39 e-wallet payments to the tune of N$195 000.

This allegedly happened on 11 August 2018.

It is further alleged by the State that upon or about 11 and 12 September 2018 Nestor logged into the internet banking account of Spot-On Discount Liquor and made a once-off payment of N$55 481.91 in favour of a Trader Account held in South Africa. 

He also hacked the internet banking account of SR van Wyk or Meransha Properties during the same period and transferred N$34 500 to a Bank Windhoek account held by Spot-On Discount Liquor, the State alleges. Furthermore, the indictment read, he hacked into the account of Spot-On Discount Liquor and made payments of N$60 000 to employees of Spot-On Discount Liquor.

In addition, the State charge, he also pretended to Taiyo Namibia that the bank account number of Walcon Construction changed from Bank Windhoek to Standard Bank and that Taiyo should pay an amount of N$720 000 for work done by Walcon into the Standard Bank account. It was for this last offence that he was arrested in January 2020 in Oranjemund and appeared in the Walvis Bay Magistrate’s Court where he was refused bail.

According to the summary of substantial facts in the indictment, Nestor is a former police officer who studied information technology at the Institute of Information and Technology where he gained knowledge on computer software and programming. With this knowledge, he fraudulently accessed the bank accounts of three business entities, upon which he transferred large amounts of money to either himself or accounts which he had access to. 

In two of the three instances, he used the same modus operandi where he fraudulently used municipal accounts of unsuspecting victims and used those municipal accounts to open AltCoin and Bitcoin Trader accounts in South Africa.

His case was postponed to 20 October for his Legal Aid lawyer, Tanya Klazen to reply to the State’s pre-trial memorandum in which he has to indicate what he admits and what he disputes.

The State is represented by Basson Lilungwe.

2022-09-23  Roland Routh

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