18 January 2013

Namibia: Homses to Be Sentenced On January 28

Windhoek — Esmereel Cerelda Homses (35) convicted on 12 of the 29 counts of fraud will be sentenced by Judge Alfred Siboleka on January 28 in the High Court.

Homses, who was employed as a manager in the legal department of Santam Namibia is accused of defrauding Santam of N$1.1 million between June 2005 and January 2008.

During the trial, Homses claimed she shared her confidential computer password with other colleagues in her department. Santam later dismissed two of those colleagues because of dishonesty, she claimed.

Last year, Judge Alfred Siboleka commented that taking into account all the evidence submitted, the State has proven beyond a reasonable doubt that Santam Insurance would not have suffered any loss whatsoever had it not been for Homses, who requested and recommended that payments be made to fictitious claimants. The judge added it was clear from the evidence that the crimes were premeditated.

He also said Homses at the time she requested and recommended the payments, knew full well that the payees were not entitled to the money.

The judge said that this was a large-scale crime and Homses' modus operandi was complicated to detect, because she used various payees and bank accounts whose holders could not be traced by the police.

He further said her conduct of providing her password to all in her department, whilst knowing that it is a dismissible offence, was a carefully reasoned tactic to cover her tracks and one that she knew she would use in court as a defence. Homses is in custody, pending her sentencing.

Sisa Namandje represented Homses, while Advocate Ed Marondedze prosecuted.

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