22 Jan 2019 15:00pm
WINDHOEK, 22 JAN (NAMPA) The High Court on Tuesday reduced the bail of a Swakopmund-based businessman who allegedly defrauded a Congolese army general of about N.dollars 11.6 million at the coastal town in 2010.
Democratic Republic of Congo national, Major-General Francois Olenga Olenga allegedly lost an estimated U.S. dollar 900 000 (N.dollars 11.6 million) after a real estate deal in Swakopmund went wrong between February and July 2010.
The alleged fraudster - Erwin Ludovic Spranger - had his bail of N.dollars 200 000 reduced to N.dollars 100 000 to enable him to pay legal fees of his new privately-instructed defence lawyer, Jan Wessels.
Wessels took over the case on Tuesday morning after the accuseds former lawyer, Louis Botes, withdrew from the trial due to Sprangers inability to pay the legal fees.
High Court Judge Naomi Shivute ordered the reduction of the accuseds bail as per request by Wessels.
In the matter, Erwin and his wife Lorinda Heidi Spranger were taken to the Windhoek High Court by the Congolese army general after the couple allegedly and fraudulently used money deposited into their account for personal use rather than for its intended purpose of property development in terms of an agreement the two parties had entered into some years ago.
The couple owns Kintscher Estate Agents and Auctioneers.
According to papers filed before the court, the prosecution alleges that the Sprangers placed the N.dollars 11.6 million in their personal bank account, while through an oral agreement they were supposed to use the money for the development and expansion of a property Olenga owns at the coastal town.
It is reported that in January 2010, a company owned by Olenga, Breadfeld Trade Limited, transferred the money into Kintscher Estate Agents and Auctioneers bank account in five instalments.
Erwin is alleged to have falsely claimed to Olenga that he would keep the money in a trust account on the generals behalf, but subsequently paid the money into his own personal bank account.
Later in September 2010, Olenga allegedly requested that Erwin pay U.S. dollar 100 000 (N.dollars 1.2 million) into his bank account of which the general only received U.S. dollar 50 000 (N.dollars 640 000), leaving an amount of U.S. dollar 850 000 (N.dollars 11 million) in the hands of Erwin.
Olenga subsequently requested the accused to return the remaining money - a request, according to the general, the accused did not heed.
Olenga then approached the High Court to obtain a court order against the Sprangers directing that the couple pay the remaining money back to him.
The case was on Tuesday postponed to 01 August 2019 for plea and trial.
Erwin is now free on bail of N.dollars 100 000 following the reduction of his bail.
His wife Lorinda is free on a warning.