20 July 2018

Namibia: Ex-Bank Employee to Admit N$5m Fraud

A FORMER employee of Standard Bank Namibia intends to admit guilt on 147 counts of fraud on which he is due to be prosecuted in the Windhoek High Court.

Defence counsel Jan Wessels informed judge Christie Liebenberg during a pretrial court appearance of his client Charles Winston Manale (35) yesterday that Manale will be pleading guilty to the fraud charges he faces.

However, Wessels added, it was his view that a count of money laundering on which Manale has also been indicted was a duplication of the fraud charges, and the issue would have to be argued when Manale goes on trial.

Manale is due to be prosecuted on 147 counts of fraud, alternatively theft, and one charge of money laundering, which is an offence in terms of the Prevention of Organised Crime Act.

The state alleges that from January 2011 to December 2015 he defrauded Standard Bank Namibia on 147 occasions by having money transferred from accounts at the bank to his own account and an account of a friend of his.

An amount of more than N$5,05 million was allegedly fraudulently transferred into Manale and his friend's accounts.

In a document filed at the court, Manale has admitted that he was employed as a senior estates officer in the bank's executors and trustees department in Windhoek during the period the fraud was committed. He is also admitting that from January 2011 to August 2013 he fraudulently had a total amount of N$806 520 paid into a bank account of his friend Daniel Kauko Nehale, and that after the death of Nehale he fraudulently had close to N$4,25 million paid into his own bank account from September 2013 to December 2015.

Judge Liebenberg ordered yesterday that Manale's case be allocated to judge Dinnah Usiku, and that Manale should make a first court appearance before her next Thursday.

Manale was arrested in January 2016 after he surrendered to the police, who had been looking for him for about a month by then. He was held in police custody following his arrest until the charges against him were withdrawn in October 2017, when a magistrate refused to give the state another postponement while the investigation of the matter had still not been completed.

Manale was summoned to appear in court again in April this year, when the charges were reinstated.

He remains free on a warning from the court while awaiting the start of his trial.

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