A FARMER at Grootfontein last week fell victim to a scam after selling 24 cattle worth N$180 000 to a person that pretended to be Youth and Sport Minister Jerry Ekandjo.
The farmer was conned on the last day of Ekandjo’s campaign for the position of Swapo vice president. It turned out that some rogue elements were busy with their own campaign to capitalise on the Swapo congress.
The fraud victim, Max Beyer, yesterday told The Namibian that Ekandjo owed him N$180 000 for
24 slaughtered cattle he had sold him on November 26 and 28.
Beyer said the meat was collected at his farm, and he dealt with “Ekandjo and a certain Willy Augusto” whom he had never met before.
Beyer emailed the invoice to a free Gmail address, which revealed that he never dealt with Jerry Ekandjo but with someone else who had provided a different postal address, email address and telephone number.
Ekandjo’s postal address on the invoice is PO Box 629, Klein Windhoek, while his real post box is at the Katutura post office.
Asked whether he was certain it was Ekandjo he had dealt with, Beyer said he was sure because of “the impression he got” and the conversation they had before sealing the deal.
Beyer only realised he was conned when The Namibian provided him with Ekandjo’s real telephone number, post box number and email address.
“I think they made a fool out of me,” Beyer responded.
Ekandjo was campaigning in the Caprivi and Kavango regions when the meat transactions took place.
The email exchange from Beyer to the address “firstname.lastname@example.org” reads as follows: “Good morning again, Jerry. Like discussed by phone just now, I am happy, if the money is in our account by coming Wednesday (5 December 2012)”.
The people who scammed Beyer also asked him for a loan for “Ekandjo to use at the congress to buy votes in order to win the elections,” he told The Namibian.
The scammers told him that the house Ekandjo owns in Kleine Kuppe, Windhoek, should be used as collateral for the loan.
Luckily he did not part with cash, because he told the scammers he did not have that kind of cash.
“Of course I can be wrong. I think they are serious criminals, and I am the fool here. They used Jerry Ekandjo’s name,” Beyer said.
Contacted for comment, Ekandjo was surprised, saying the last time he had bought cattle was three years ago at a Namboer auction.
Ekandjo said he did not know Beyer and threatened to sue him, but first he called the man from Grootfontein.
“Is that man alright in the head? He did not even want to listen when I called him,” Ekandjo told The Namibian.
Late yesterday, Ekandjo was waiting for the police to take a statement from him.
“We will let the police deal with this. How can he give meat to people he does not know, and did not even meet,” he said.
Beyer said he too would report a case to the police to track down the culprits.