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State appeals Pupkewitz fraudster sentence

2022-07-12  Maria Amakali

State appeals Pupkewitz fraudster sentence

The State is seeking a green light from the High Court so it may be granted leave to appeal the sentence of fraud convict and former branch manager of Pupkewitz Megabuild, Immanuel David Freitas Dias, in the Supreme Court.

Dias was convicted on 137 counts of fraud and alternatively theft and subsequently sentenced to a N$200 000 fine or five years imprisonment, plus a further five years suspended wholly for five years earlier this year.  All of the counts were treated as one for sentencing. 

The sentence came after the Supreme Court set aside an acquittal of Dias on a host of fraud charges, alternatively theft at the end of a trial, which he faced with two others in October 2014. 

Not satisfied with the acquittal, the prosecutor general launched an appeal in the Supreme Court, where Judge of Appeal Elton Hoff, in concurrence with Deputy Chief Justice Petrus Damaseb and Judge of Appeal Sylvester Mainga, replaced the not guilty verdict with a guilty verdict and sent the matter back to the High Court for sentencing. 

His co-accused Edgar Cardosa Alves had absconded by then. 

A third accused, Mark Alves, was acquitted on all charges at the close of the State’s case. The State managed to prove that Dias at the time when he was a manager of Pupkewitz Megabuild in Oshikango, devised a scheme, together with Alves who worked as yard supervisor, to assist one of their clients, Ben Hauwanga, to buy material on account in instances where Hauwanga had reached his credit limit. 

Hauwanga would then buy goods on quotation and would receive and dispatch the material.  No sales were generated on the computer system. 

The second respondent would then weeks or months later issue Hauwanga with the required advice notes and tax invoices of the goods taken on quotation. 

After Hauwanga had cleared his account, Alves would also book goods on Hauwanga’s account where Hauwanga had not received the goods reflected on invoices.

Hauwanga subsequently claimed that he had not received goods from Pupkewitz Megabuild to the value of N$4.9 million. 

Nevertheless, Hauwanga had paid N$3.7 million for the disputed goods he claimed not to have received.

The hearing is scheduled to take place on 13 October before acting Judge of the High Court Petrus Unengu. 

Dias’ warning was extended yesterday until his hearing date.

2022-07-12  Maria Amakali

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