OSHAKATI - Five suspects who allegedly stole N$6 million from the vehicle of Oshakati-based businessman Shamil Dirk in April this year said the case opened against them is not clear.
Dirk runs a transportation company, Samco Import and Export CC. It is reported that the money was stolen from Dirk’s vehicle while parked at his house in Ongwediva.
The accused are Henock Teofilus, Nangobe Teddy Wilbard, Frans Gold Kutjowa, Haikela Dosmill Jafet, Liborius Kondjeni and Jafet Haikela. The Oshakati Magistrate’s Court last Wednesday postponed their case for further police investigation to 25 April next year.
The group is facing counts of theft and money laundering in relation to the N$6 million.
Haikela, who was granted bail of N$10 000, said he does not understand why he was arrested.
“What have I done? I am being accused of a crime I did not commit. I used to steal, but not anymore,” he stated.
Haikela added that he is confused about the different figures.
“The first figure was N$800 000, and the second was N$6 million,” he said.
He indicated that somewhere somehow, Dirk is not telling the truth and is probably lying. “Who keeps such a large amount of money in a car?” he asked rhetorically.
Another suspect who is in custody and does not want to be named asked why the complainant did not report the case as soon as he found out that the money was missing.
“The incident allegedly took place between 30 and 31 March this year, but the case of theft out of a motor-vehicle was only registered at the Ongwediva police station on 2 April,” he said.
He added that they were informed that the matter only came to the public’s attention after a tip was shared on social media.
Kutyowa asked: “Why is it that only some granted bail, but we are all facing the same charges of theft and money laundering and we all had lawyers representing us?”
Oshana police head of investigations, Deputy Commissioner Theophilus Kamati told New Era that he is aware of the N$6 million case, and he could not go into details as the investigations are not finalised. Approached for comment, Oshana commissioner Naftal Lungameni Sackaria said there is no law preventing anyone from having millions of Namibian dollars in cash stored at home.
“However, carrying or keeping large amounts of money at home is not appropriate,” he advised.
Dirk refused to comment on the matter when contacted.
Meanwhile, strategic communications and international relations director of the Bank of Namibia Kazembire Zemburuka also emphasised that there is no law that prohibits the keeping of large amounts of cash at home or business premises.
“Considering the progress made in enhancing financial inclusion in Namibia, it is advisable that citizens utilise financial services, including that of commercial banks, non-banking institutions, Nampost, and other recognised financial institutions to protect their funds. This recommendation arises from the increased exposure and risks associated with handling physical cash,” he added.