Roland Routh Windhoek-A man who pleaded guilty on 288 counts of fraud in the Windhoek High Court before Judge Naomi Shivute said he committed the offences because there was no control on the bank’s treasury interest account from which he stole the money. According to Mark Wayne van Wyk, 29, Standard Bank Namibia changed its systems during the period he started siphoning off money, thus leaving a loophole for someone to steal from it. He said that he questioned the lack of control, but nothing was done about it and used the opportunity to line his pockets. While he said during his evidence in mitigation that he started stealing to augment his income, as he was supporting his ailing mother as well as his brother and grandparents, he admitted under cross-examination that he later used the proceeds of his misdeeds to throw lavish parties for friends and acquaintances. Van Wyk pleaded guilty to 288 counts of fraud, alternatively theft, yesterday for defrauding Standard Bank Gobabis of N$1.6 million over a span of a little more than two years. In a plea explanation read into the record by his legal aid lawyer, Jan Wessels, Van Wyk said he knew what he was doing was wrong and that if convicted he could be punished. “I admit that I knew that I was committing the crime of fraud on each and every occasion that I committed the various crimes of fraud, on 288 occasions, and I knew that if caught I could be arrested, charged and convicted as well as sentenced on the various counts of fraud.” Van Wyk admitted that between January 19, 2013 and August 31, 2015 at Standard Bank Gobabis he wrongfully, unlawfully, falsely and with the intent to defraud, gave out and misrepresented to Standard Bank Namibia that the persons he made payments to were entitled to the money. He said as a supervisor of the bank’s account support consultants and asset custodians, his colleagues would sometimes ask for his help and he would then use their passwords to log into the system. “I admit that there developed a trust relationship between myself and my colleagues and the bank. I initiated a fraudulent scheme wherein I obtained banking accounts from some of my friends, relatives and acquaintances and would fraudulently manipulate the bank’s system to cause payments to be captured, deposited and/or transferred from the bank’s Internal Revenue Interest Account, into my personal account and into the accounts of my friends, relatives and acquaintances, who in all cases and circumstances would have nothing to do with, and never were owed any money by, Standard Bank, and who in some instances did not have accounts with Standard Bank and were not entitled to any payments from Standard Bank,” Van Wyk said. He continued that in doing so he used the User ID numbers of his colleagues and on several occasions used his own User ID and would then contact those people into whose bank accounts he paid the money to withdraw the money and hand it over to him. Van Wyk further said he would on other occasions use the debit cards of the people he transferred money to, to withdraw money at several ATMs or buy items. He however denied that any of the persons knew the money was stolen. During cross-examination State Advocate Salomon Kanyemba emphatically put it to Van Wyk that he used the stolen money to sustain a lifestyle that he could not otherwise afford to which Van Wyk answered with an emphatic “yes”. The case will continue today with Wessels and Kanyemba making submissions on the sentence Van Wyk is to receive.
New Era Reporter
2018-01-17 09:21:14 10 months ago