8 January 2013

Namibia: 'ATM Millionaire' Wants His Freedom

Windhoek — Amos Warren Mumbone who was arrested in April last year for allegedly laundering N$30 million has asked the court to release him.

The 42-year old Mumbone made another appearance in the Windhoek Magistrate's Court yesterday, without his lawyer Brian Kauta. Mumbone informed the court that Kauta "is at the village. He told me to ask the court for a release order. I am not guilty in this case." Mumbone was arrested after the hefty N$30 million was mysteriously deposited into his bank account at Katima Mulilo.

Mumbone has a history of mental illness, and the court again ordered that he be sent for psychiatric observation to determine his fitness to stand trial. He has been unable to go for mental observation last year, because he fell ill.

Mumbone, was arrested on April 20 last year when Standard Bank, where he has an account, became suspicious following his request for the withdrawal of N$69 000 to purchase a vehicle. Bank officials alerted the commercial crimes unit of the police about the man's N$30 million account, which led to his immediate arrest.

He claimed that the N$30 million was legitimate money, which he acquired from a private insurance policy his late father had taken out on his behalf since he was born. New Era reported last year that the paper trail has revealed South African connections.

Bank statements, transaction lists and police statements presented fresh information and a new twist in the perplexing case that is still under police investigation. A major electronic withdrawal of just under N$3 million (N$2 998 287.00) in total was traced to Johannesburg's Midrand area, where it appears to have been activated, providing traces to different banks and accounts in South Africa.

Shortly after the electronic withdrawal, the balance of N$26.9 million was "reversed" to an unknown account, leaving Mumbone with a zero balance on his bank account. The transaction took place on April 17, three days before Mumbone's arrest.

Magistrate Ingrid Unengu presided, while Taodago Gaweseb represented the state.

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