Petrol card fraudster nailedBy: ADAM HARTMAN
THE suspect arrested this week for committing petrol card fraud worth N$49 000 at service stations in Walvis Bay did not only defraud the petrol stations and the original card holders, but also made car importers his unwitting accomplices.
Since June, Patrick Nashandi allegedly managed to clone two petrol cards – one belonging to Erongo RED and the other to a Walvis Bay resident, according to Erongo Police Inspector George Xoagub.
In the first case where the Narraville Motor Service Station was defrauded of N$40 000 worth of petrol over the past two months, the suspect allegedly approached vehicle importers with an offer to fill their vehicles with fuel, after which they would pay him back in cash.
Hundreds of cars are imported through the harbour of Walvis Bay and then taken to neighbouring countries.
It was only later this month that the original owner of the petrol card was informed that money was going off his account, and this is when the police were called in. The account was stopped and an alert was issued to the public.
In another incident, Nashandi allegedly managed to defraud a service station in Walvis Bay’s CBD of N$9 000 – with a cloned Erongo RED petrol card.
Thanks to an alert petrol attendant, the suspect was approached and questioned but when he realised that his cover was blown, he fled. The police arrested him shortly afterwards and connected Nashandi to both cases.
Nashandi appeared in the Walvis Bay Magistrate’s Court on charges of fraud and his case was postponed to August.