WINDHOEK – A female nurse was defrauded of N$350,000 by a former primary school mate who had promised to help her secure a European Union (EU) scholarship to study medicine in the Netherlands.
A case of theft under false pretence was opened on May 3 with the City Police against Simon Hamukaku, 32, who this week appeared in the Windhoek Magistrate’s Court.
According to City Police public relations officer Fabian Amukwelele, Hamukaku was granted N$6,000 bail, which he paid.
The woman, who has requested anonymity, says she spent all her savings to pay for fictitious “tuition, a meal card, visa and accommodation” that Hamukaku had promised would be refunded before she left the country for her studies.
The woman started making payments in September 2016 to alleged officials at the EU office in Windhoek and was supposed to leave for the Netherlands in November last year but the trip kept being postponed.
In 2016 the woman and Hamukaku had met in the north where he told her about the ‘scholarship’ offered by the EU. Hamukaku said he was studying towards a master’s degree in law at the University of Namibia under the same scholarship.
Hamukaku then returned to Windhoek and asked the woman to send her personal documents to him and soon thereafter people from the alleged EU office in Windhoek contacted the woman, which they did continually.
“They asked money to cover the accommodation, tuition and for a meal card which I deposited in one of two personal accounts I got from them because the person who ‘dealt’ with the EU bank account was not around,” the woman said.
She would eWallet money and make cash deposits while some money she gave to Hamukaku as per their request.
The victim said Hamukaku kept postponing matters when she was supposed to leave for studies in November. She finally gave up but Hamukaku insisted she goes to the Netherlands and had two men call her claiming they were from NSFAF and the education ministry. They said the loan was ready and all her documents were processed.
The woman started asking Hamukaku to enable her to visit the office to verify her information but he wasn’t forthcoming and she then sought police assistance, which led to Hamukaku’s arrest.
Amukwelele cautioned members of the public not to be too quick to trust people with their money without thorough background information and to report all potential scams.