RUNDU (Namibia) – The Namibian Police Force (NamPol) last week arrested four suspects after they were allegedly found in possession of the discarded Zimbabwean dollars, which they used to defraud people.
Report by Nampa
The suspects were cornered near the Woermann Brock supermarket while police were conducting street patrols following a string of cases of theft from motor vehicles.
NamPol’s Kavango regional crime investigations co-ordinator, Deputy Commissioner Willie Bampton, told Nampa that the suspects were apprehended with two handbags containing huge bundles of outdated Zimbabwean dollar notes worth millions, but which are not in use anymore.
Zimbabwe mainly uses US dollars and South African rands.
The suspects allegedly put the bundles of notes, which are covered with genuine N$100 Namibian notes on top and underneath, to trick people into giving them their money on the pretext that it would be multiplied.
The police also confiscated three different business cards with the names of different companies which advertise that they were in the diamond trading business, but the contact details were all the same.
A small bottle containing mercury liquid, which was allegedly used to wash the money and multiply it, was also confiscated.
Bampton said some Rundu residents had already fallen victim to the scam, and one resident had opened a case after losing N$3 500.
He said the suspects, who were said to be operating in groups with some said to be in Tsumeb, were targeting individuals with money.
Some of them were apparently even collaborating with officials from banks.
The crimes coordinator cautioned inhabitants of the region to be vigilant, and not to listen to strangers who approached them on the pretext that they could multiply their money. The suspects, aged 22, 30, 36 and 28, are from different towns including Otjiwarongo, Windhoek and Katima Mulilo.
They would be charged with fraud and theft under false pretences, and were expected to appear in the Rundu Magistrates’ Court yesterday.