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Wednesday 19 December 2018
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Army tangled in N$1.8m Letshego fraud

A well-crafted syndicate between officials in Letshego Namibia and the Ministry of Defence has been uncovered, and it could end up with at least 70 Defence employees losing their jobs after the government-backed micro-loan company lost close to N$2 million.
Although the intricate details of the case are yet to be made public, The Patriot has it on good authority that a case has been opened under CR 79/07/2018.
Sources say at least two Letshego officials are in hot water over the syndicate as they appear to have been the masterminds of the dubious transactions.
It is alleged that Letshego was defrauded over N$1.8 million through a scheme in which NDF employees allegedly apply for new loans before paying off their existing loans. This is done with the help of Letshego employees who allegedly delete the files of loan holders. Letshego, according to sources, has since initiated the recovery process which involved as many as 75 people from both institutions.
Police sources from the commercial unit have indicated that the identities of all suspects are known and could make the pending mass arrests during the course of this month.
Letshego, a listed company on the Namibia Stock Exchange, this week refused to answer questions surrounding the matter.
With Letshego having recently acquired a banking license, financial experts have sounded the alarm saying the fraudulent syndicate has the potential to tarnish the reputation of Letshego because potential clients could construe this exercise as a sign that Letshego’s internal security mechanisms are not watertight.
In a brief response after The Patriot had sent eight questions to Letshego, its CEO Ester Kali responded briefly saying: “Letshego Namibia remains committed to and has a comprehensive Risk Management Framework in place, including robust internal policies, processes and procedures to manage all risk.
She added: “Any incident that requires specific investigation will be dealt with within our Risk Framework and, where appropriate, in conjunction with the relevant authorities. There is currently no investigation deemed potentially and materially significant to the business that requires any disclosure at this point in time.”
The Patriot wanted to know what steps has Letshego taken to recover the funds and the exact amount of money swindled.
Questions were also asked whether Letshego has engaged the NDF leadership to address this matter; the number of Letshego employees been implicated in this scandal. Kali did also not say whether Letshego has issued a precautionary announcement on the Namibian Stock Exchange.




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