Cops arrested for fake job recruitment scam

By Eliaser Ndeyanale A at Ongwediva

FEMALE police sergeant in the Special Field Force and her daughter, a former police officer, have been arrested for allegedly defrauding over 50 desperate job seekers out of thousands of dollars by falsely promising them employment in the Namibian Police Force.

Preliminary investigations suggest that the officers charged their victims N$1 000 each to secure a job in the force and allegedly dished out government employment forms, some of which were found in their possession upon their arrest recently. The officers took advantage of a situation when the Namibian Police Force was offering jobs countrywide earlier this year.

Their arrest came after the duo allegedly solicited around N$77 000 from members of the public by falsely promising needy unemployed people that in return for upfront payment, they would be recruited to the force at a time when Nampol was looking for un- employed people to fill about 700 posts countrywide, following a three-year period of non-recruitment due to budget constraints.

Martha Nangolo, the mother, and the daughter Helena Caros were charged with corruption and appeared in court on 13 September, where they were granted bail in the amount of N$10 000 each and subsequently released.
Police Inspector General Sebastian Ndeitunga said the alleged action by the two was a disgrace to the force and, if true, they should be discharged from duty. Khomas regional command- er Joseph Shikongo, who earlier confirmed their arrest, said the two suspects told their victims to pay certain amounts of money to them to be employed by the police. “I’m not too sure if the suspect has appeared before the court but I know that there was an arrest of a police officer and the daughter, who is also a former police officer. Both of them were arrested and were charged.

“These people were begging for money after promising people jobs, [saying] that if they pay money they will be given jobs, they have a special recruitment [process] for them and they end- ed up being paid. The amount is in the range of N$77 000. The case was opened at Wanaheda police station. The police officer is detained at Hosea Kutako International Airport. She should appear before the court, only that I don’t have details,” he said.

Nampol spokesperson Kauna Shikwambi confirmed that the suspects charged N$1 000 per job application and were caught after they had defrauded more than 50 people. Shikwambi said the mother, Martha Nangolo, held the rank of sergeant and was stationed at an installation unit of the Special Field Force at Katutura police station.

The incidents reportedly occurred in May at Okuryangava in formal settlement in Windhoek. “Suspects solicited or approached more than 50 people, asked money from them and promised them jobs in the Namibian Police Force. Value collected amounts to N$77 000 and is not recovered. Investigation continues,” Shikwambi briefly said.

The suspects' court case has been postponed to 11 November and the process to suspend Nangolo from official duty is said to be ongoing.

This was the second recorded incident this year of a police officer being arrested on allegations of fraud. In July a former police officer, Johannes Mathew was arrested in Windhoek after he was found in possession of stones resembling diamonds. The police at the time said Mathew and three of his group had impersonated police officers and a magistrate and extorted N$38 000 from an elderly man.