Namibia: Postfin Agent Appears for Fraud

Omuthiya — A 29-year-old PostFin agent in Tsumeb was on Friday arrested for theft under false pretence for allegedly defrauding clients. The suspect Ndapewa Gertze appeared in the Tsumeb Magistrate's Court on Monday where she was granted bail of N$1 500 and her matter postponed to 24 August this year. It is alleged that Gertze had on several occasions requested refunds on loans advanced to unsuspecting clients, claiming that they are erroneously over paid, while in essence keeping the funds to herself.

Two cases were registered with the police in which the suspect is charged with fraud under false pretence.

One case emanates from an incident in March 2018, in which she had allegedly stolen money from a pensioner's account, amounting to N$2 400.

On the second charge, Gertze allegedly demanded a refund on a client of N$2 750, from the initial loan amount of N$12 750, claiming there was an overpayment.

Tsumeb station commander Chief Inspector Sisco Kotze confirmed the details of the alleged crime.

Meanwhile, PostFin representative Lebona Mostert said they are busy investigating the matter internally, thus she could not delve much on the issue.

"We are aware of such allegations and the company is busy with investigation. I would also like to say, the suspect is not a full employee of PostFin but rather an agent doing work for us," she briefly stated.

PostFin is a wholly owned subsidiary of NamPost.

It was created as a conduit for NamPost to better serve Namibians by providing access to affordable financial services throughout the country.

A close relative of the duped client, Joseph Naiteb, said the family decided to lay criminal charges against the agent after they failed to get satisfactory answers and a receipt as proof that the refunds were indeed genuine despite several request to have such.

"The suspect got away with the first swindle in 2018 when my mother applied for a loan and received N$10 250, of which she was later told that of the amount she was overpaid, as such she has to refund some money to which she did but no proof was given for documentation.

Ironically, the instalment never went down, but this went unnoticed then. Our eyes were opened only this year in February when my sister took a loan amount of N$12 750 and the same woman demanded a refund again claiming she only qualified for N$10 000 and the rest was wrongly paid," he said.

"This is the point when we start suspecting that something was wrong. We started connecting the dots as well as making inquiries to the head office to which we were told there was nothing of that nature in their records of overpayment."

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