Fraud accused Potifar Kazombiaze’s legal woes are far from over, following yesterday’s postponement of the case in which he is accused of stealing a record N$4 million from a businessman through identity theft.
The case was postponed to next week, 20 February 2020, for plea and trial. Kazombiaze is being arraigned after he was arrested in September 2017, for allegedly stealing a record amount of N$4 million from a businessman, after ‘stealing’ the victim’s identity.
The accused made a brief appearance before magistrate Linus Samunzala Samunzala in the B-Court at the Windhoek Magistrate’s Court, along Lüderitz Street. However, the magistrate noted that the matter was erroneously remanded to yesterday, 13 February 2020 and not 20 February 2020 – as the date agreed by the defence counsel.
“May the case be remanded to the 20th of February 2020, for plea and trial, as the date agreed with the accused’s lawyer (and) the witnesses can be excused for now and they are on warning for the date of the next appearance,” Samunzala said, referring to witnesses Johan Cloete, Franco Esterhuizen, Ingrid Katjihua and Gerson Tjirimuje.
Kazombiaze remains on bail. Public prosecutor Rowan Van Wyk appeared on behalf of the State. Kazombiaze has been charged with fraud, forgery and uttering. It is alleged that he initially obtained an ID duplicate of one Kefas Stefanus, a business man from Oshakati from Home Affairs.
With the duplicate ID, he allegedly managed to obtain a duplicate of the victim's Standard Bank credit card from the Maerua Mall Standard Bank branch in Windhoek. This reportedly happened on 5 September last year.
Deputy Commissioner Erastus Iikuyu is quoted in media reports maintaining that the accused forged the complainant's signature and increased the daily withdrawal limit of the victim's account to N$100,000. "The suspect withdrew money at various ATM's in Windhoek and transferred some money to different accounts totalling about N$4 million,” the deputy commissioner reportedly said.
The suspect then travelled to Swakopmund from Windhoek on 13 September 2017 and at about 21:00, he allegedly withdrew about N$90,000 from different Standard Bank ATM's at the coastal town. While he withdrew the cash some security guards at the ATM's alerted the police about a particular person withdrawing huge amounts of money.
The next day (14 September 2020) between 10:00-11:00 the suspect was arrested while he was once again trying to withdraw money at the Standard Bank Swakopmund main branch's ATM, located in the central business district. He was found in possession of the victim's ID and credit card, as well as N$9,111.95 in cash.
According to police sources, the preliminary investigation revealed that the bank managed to reverse about N$3 million in transactions back to the victim's account. Kazombiaze allegedly stole about N$900,000.