DBN acting CEO Martin Inkumbi yesterday confirmed that a criminal case (CR927/04-2013), has been opened against businessman Andreas Shigwana Shiimi and former National Youth Service legal advisor Kristofina Itembu. The two allegedly defrauded the DBN of N$820 000, through an alleged fictitious tender transaction.
Both Itembu and Shiimi have denied any wrongdoing.
The two allegedly defrauded DBN late last year when Shiimi, through his company Lifetex Investment CC, applied for a loan of N$820 000. He allegedly claimed he needed the loan because his company Lifetex, had been granted a tender by the Namibia Grape Company to instal a drip irrigation system at Aussenkehr.
Lifetex allegedly needed the money to buy equipment for the implementation of the system.
As part of the representation to DBN, Shiimi provided a letter, later discovered to have been forged, allegedly written by Namibia Grape Company stating that Lifetex had been granted the tender.
The letter is said to have been written by Namibia Grape Company general manager, Gideon Nuunyango. But it was later discovered that the letter was allegedly written by Itembu from the National Youth Service, the parent body of Namibia Grape Company.
Itembu allegedly wrote to DBN informing the bank that all was above board and instructed them to proceed giving Lifetex the loan. Itembu also agreed with DBN that payments from Namibia Grape Company will be paid to DBN so that the bank will pay Lifetex after it has taken what is owed to it by the company.
As part of DBN’s policies, it did not advance the money to Lifetex directly but paid the money to the supplier of the equipment.
In this case the alleged supplier was an outfit called Bundus Investments/Commodities into whose account the money was paid. Preliminary checks with the Registrar of Companies could not confirm the existence of the company.
It was only discovered in February this year that Lifetex had duped DBN into paying out money for a fictitious transaction.
A DBN probe uncovered that Nuunyango never wrote the letter which confirmed that Lifetex had a tender.
Nuunyango yesterday told The Namibian that Namibia Grape Company does not use the drip irrigation technology. He said the letter indicated that he was a managing director, when in fact he is the general manager. It was then allegedly discovered that Itembu was behind the letters to DBN.
Itembu said she did no such thing when approached for comment yesterday.
Inkumbi said the money has not yet been recovered but Shiimi offered to settle the debt.
According to DBN’s spokesperson, Joy Sasman, they discovered the fraudulent activities in February.
This came about during another investigation of a forged letter, purportedly written by the DBN acting CEO, confirming that a loan application of N$15 million had been approved.
The said loan application was from Shiimi and his business partner Hendrik Petrus Botha. The two wanted to buy Von Baum Motors, a car dealership with a service station in Otjiwarongo. The fraudulent letter was written to the owners of Von Baum Motors purporting that a loan to buy their business had been approved by DBN.
Von Baum Motors’ attorneys then contacted the bank about the loan approval. This loan was never approved, Sasman said.
Sources close to the investigation told The Namibian that it was discovered that the letter was a fraud after Inkumbi looked at it. Sources said that Inkumbi’s name was spelt incorrectly, had a forged signature and incorrect contact details. They said the letter to Von Baum Motors was faxed from an office belonging to a prominent businessman’s son whose name is known to The Namibian, but could not be independently verified.
Von Baum Motors’ attorney Henner Diekmann could not be reached for comment and his office said he was out of the country.
Shiimi said no one from DBN informed him or asked him about their investigation.
He refused to go into details because he said it was a matter between him and DBN but said he is a businessman who just wants to do business.
Botha could not be reached for comment at the time of going to press as his telephone was off yesterday.