Windhoek resident Owen Mahoto, who is accused of defrauding Cabinet minister Frans Kapofi, has denied allegations that he is a flight risk after the police could not trace him.
“The information relayed by
the State that I am a flight risk is
not correct, as I have been in constant communication with
the police,” said Mahoto.
He made the remarks during
his first appearance in the Windhoek Magistrate’s Court yesterday after prosecutor Naomi Canniffe informed the court it
was difficult to trace him, as he was on the run.
Thus, the State considers him a flight risk.
Canniffe, in addition, said the State is objecting to Mahoto’s release on bail due to the serious nature of the charges, and he has the propensity to commit similar offences.
Mahoto, an electrical engineer by profession, was arrested this week and is facing two counts of fraud with two alternative charges of theft.
The first charge of fraud with an alternative charge of fraud emanates from an incident in which he allegedly enticed Kapofi to provide him with his banking details.
The state is alleging he pretended to be a bank official and informed Kapofi the bank detected suspicious transactions, where money was being deducted from his
account – and in order to stop the deductions, he needed his
Mahoto then stole Kapofi’s N$200 000.
This incident took place on 24 August 2022.
In the second matter, where Mahoto is facing a charge of fraud with an alternative count of theft, the prosecution alleges he defrauded and stole N$22 271
from Windhoek-based Weinberg Hotel.
It is alleged that on 19 August 2022, he led the hotel staff to believe he settled his bill through an electronic transfer by providing
false proof of payment when he knew it was not a legitimate payment.
The two cases have since been combined.
During his court appearance, magistrate Mutafela Likando informed Mahoto he still has the right to launch a formal
bail application for the court to consider his release on bail.
The court postponed the matter to 7 December 2022 for further police investigations.