Suspected N$4 million bank fraudster summoned

Home Crime and Courts Suspected N$4 million bank fraudster summoned

Maria Amakali

The Windhoek Magistrate’s Court has summoned Winston Charles Manale, 33, who stands accused of defrauding a local commercial bank of N$4 million in 2015. Manale’s case was placed back on the roll with his appearance scheduled for April 6. In October 2017, Magistrate Venatius Sebby Alweendo withdrew Manale’s case from the court roll. At the time, Alweendo refused to give more time to the prosecutor-general to pronounce herself in the matter and on further police investigations. He said that giving another postponement in the case would be at the expense of the accused, who is innocent until proven guilty. The case was postponed several times due to incomplete investigations, absent witnesses and outstanding bank statements. In June 2017, the investigative officer dealing with the case informed the court that investigations were far from complete, as the prosecutor-general had sent back the docket with 26 instructions that needed to be complied with.

Before his release, Manale was in police custody after his arrest in January 2016 when he willingly handed himself over to the police. At the time Manale was refused bail on grounds he would abscond like he did in December 2015. Manale’s charges of fraud and theft will be reinstated when he makes his re-appearance in court on April 6. The charges of fraud and theft emanate from the time he was employed at Standard Bank Namibia’s Trust Account Division in Windhoek. The prosecution alleges that between September 2013 and December 2015, Manale embezzled N$4 million from the financial institution. It is alleged that Manale defrauded the bank’s clients by transferring payments illegally from their trust funds into his personal bank account.