Fifteen Health officials arrested for alleged fraud at Otjiwaron

31 Aug 2016 18:00pm
OTJIWARONGO, 31 AUG (NAMPA) - Fifteen health officials linked to fraud involving N.dollars 8.2 million at the Ministry of Health and Social Services in the Otjozondjupa Region, are behind bars at the Otjiwarongo Police Station.
They were arrested Wednesday morning after the police’s serious crime unit completed intensive investigations in a fraud case that was opened in May 2014 by the office of the Otjozondjupa regional health director.
The 15 included nurses, drivers, a doctor and two accountants. They are aged between 41 and 61 years.
Acting Otjozondjupa Regional Police Commander, Deputy Commissioner Gerhard Uataurua Mavenjono confirmed the arrest to Nampa in an interview on Wednesday.
He said most of the suspects are long-serving staff members of the Ministry of Health and Social Services in the Grootfontein, Otjiwarongo and Okahandja health districts.
It is alleged that the suspects on numerous occasions submitted false travel and overtime claims for trips they never undertook. The claims were processed and money paid into their bank accounts.
Preliminary police investigations indicate that some suspects deposited money into bank accounts of the two accountants based at the regional office at Otjiwarongo.
The syndicate is suspected to have operated between June 2006 and January 2013.
The two accountants were in February 2014 relocated from their offices at the Otjozondjupa health regional office to the Otjiwarongo District Hospital, where they are temporarily operating from.
The relocation was meant to allow for investigations into the fraud suspicions.
All 15 suspects were expected to appear in the Otjiwarongo Magistrate’s Court Wednesday afternoon.