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Estate agent’s bail reduced to N$100 000

2019-01-23  Roland Routh

Estate agent’s bail reduced to N$100 000
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WINDHOEK - Judge Naomi Shivute yesterday granted estate agent Erwin Sprangers, 58, a reduction of N$100 000 on his bail amount of N$200 000.

This is to enable him to pay for the legal fees of his estranged wife Lorinda Sprangers in their upcoming trial on charges of fraud and theft by false pretences regarding N$6.7 million he allegedly stole from a Congolese army general.
Local lawyer Jan Wessels made the request to Judge Shivute when their trial was supposed to start. The trial was previously postponed for the unavailability of funds. Sprangers has in the meantime managed to acquire funds to pay for his legal expenses. 

The Department of Legal Aid has declined to pay for his legal fees, ostensibly because he is in a position to pay himself. Lorinda Sprangers told the court yesterday that her father died recently and that his estate is currently in the hands of an executor who will finalise the estate.

On a question from the court when the estate would be finalised, Wessels said he did not know, but would find out. He however informed the court that once the estate is finalised, Lorinda will be in a position to fund her legal representative.
The matter has now been set down for August 1 to 16 this year for them to plea to the charges.
Sprangers alone faces a charge of fraud and together with his wife faces five charges of theft by conversion, alternatively theft.

The matter arises from a business transaction between Sprangers and Democratic Republic of Congo Army General Francois Olenga during January, 2010 when it was allegedly agreed that Olenga would deposit US$900 000 into the trust banking account of Sprangers’ estate agency, Kintcher Estates, as trust money for the development of two properties the general owned at the coast or for the acquisition of further properties for Olenga. 

According to the charge sheet, the money was to be held in trust for Olenga and could only be used for purposes approved by Olenga and would immediately be paid back to Olenga on request.

According to the summary of substantial facts in the indictment, Sprangers agreed with Olenga that Olenga would pay funds into his bank account for the purpose of developing Olenga’s properties in Namibia.

He then misrepresented to Olenga that should Olenga avail the said funds, he (Sprangers) would hold and keep in trust such funds on behalf of Olenga. The state further allege that Sprangers misrepresented to Olenga that he would only spend the funds on “expenditure expressly approved” (prior to spending) by Olenga and would upon demand pay back the funds to Olenga. 

During the period February 10, 2010 to July 6, 2010, the complainant’s funds totalling N$6 785 318.76 were transferred by Breadfield Trade Ltd on the instructions of Olenga in five tranches into the Kintscher Estate Agents and Auctioneers’ First National Bank banking account with number 554 6004 0542, which banking details (purporting to be that of the accused’s trust bank account, whilst it was actually that of their business account) were supplied to Olenga by Sprangers, the indictment reads. It further said that either one of the Sprangers couple had signature rights on the account. 

According to the state, once the money was in their said bank account, the Sprangers couple, between February 1, 2010 and December 31, 2010 stole or misappropriated it and/or converted all of the general’s money to their own use.
The state is represented by Advocate Erich Moyo.

2019-01-23  Roland Routh

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