Arrests and more arrests in bank theft case

Nico Hijendepi Rebebe

The Namibian Police at Rundu yesterday arrested six people linked to the theft of about N$2 million from Bank Windhoek, while two others were arrested at Opuwo on Monday.

The two suspects who were arrested in the Kunene region appeared in the Opuwo Magistrate’s Court yesterday and remains in custody.

Their names are Untag Kamati (34) and Fenni Ankoshi (19). They were arrested on charges of fraud and theft.

Their case was postponed to 11 April for further police investigations.

The main suspect, Nico Rebebe, and one other person are still at large.

Six bank accounts were allegedly opened at Rundu.

The money in the accounts is believed to have been transferred to the suspects by Bank Windhoek employee Rebebe, who is suspected of being the mastermind behind theft involving N$2 million at Opuwo on Saturday.

Kavango East acting regional commander Eino Nambahu yesterday told The Namibian that N$1,5 million was discovered in the bank accounts of three suspects, while N$200 000 was found in the accounts of another three – all arrested at Rundu.

According to Nambahu, the first suspect was arrested while trying to withdraw money at the bank.

The other suspects were arrested at different locations at Rundu.

“It is further said that Rebebe approached the six, promising them jobs at a farm, and one of the requirements was for them to open accounts with Bank Windhoek, in which he would pay their monthly salaries.

“After the accounts were opened, the [ATM] cards were taken by Rebebe,” Nambahu said.

The ages of the suspects range between 22 and 30.

“In the meantime, Bank Windhoek is offering a reward of N$20 000 to anyone who will provide information to the Namibian Police that will lead to the successful apprehension of Rebebe,” national police spokesperson deputy commissioner Kauna Shikwambi said yesterday.

The police initially reported on Sunday that an attempt to steal N$200 million from the bank was made on Saturday, but Bank Windhoek managing director Baronice Hans later said the potential loss was less than N$2 million.

“The potential loss is less than N$2 million, thanks to vigilant staff action and robust systems and controls within Bank Windhoek,” she said.

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