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THE National Housing Enterprise (NHE) in Walvis Bay is investigating claims of scammers presenting themselves as its official ripping off desperate and unsuspecting people.
NHE Erongo branch manager Karl Schroeder told The Namibian that there are various allegations making the rounds. He said that NHE has not opened a case with the police because the culprits are not NHE workers. Victims, however, have been advised to open a case. One prospective client accused NHE of corruption and even urged the Anti-Corruption Commission to investigate. According to the house applicant, scammers posing as NHE officials asked him to pay N$6 000 to "secure a house". "These officials are not even ashamed of themselves to tell the applicant to pay the amount into personal accounts! And there are three officials who are doing this," a victim said.
Another victim, who gave the banking details of a suspected scammer to The Namibian, said when she told the 'officials' that her cousin, who was the ap- plicant, was working at sea, the 'official' told her to pay N$6 000 and to put the house in her name in the meantime to secure it.
"I told [the 'official'] that I could not betray my cousin like that and refused to pay the money," she said.
The banking details are linked to an FNB savings account at Rosh Pinah.
The Namibian contacted the number of the alleged NHE official, who said his name was 'Abraham'. He was keen on doing business until asked where he worked. He then put the phone down when the newspaper wanted to know more about his connection with NHE.
"The timing of the complaint to you the media coincides with these incidents reported to us where clients have paid money into accounts other than NHE's. Some of the money has been deposited into e-wallets or Nampost accounts, and so here it can be seen as a scam," said Schroeder.
He said the public should be aware that money paid towards a house even in the form of a deposit should be into an NHE account.
"We realise that some of these clients do not know the processes of applying for a house and are so desperate and will do anything to secure a roof over their head. If there is any truth in the allegations that NHE officials are involved, I would ask the complainants as good Namibian citizens to step forward and pre- sent the evidence, so that such corrupt practices can be rooted out," he said.
Regarding the current status of the mass housing project, Schroeder said he can assure the public that not a single house in the Erongo region has been allocated to anybody yet.
Erongo's regional crime investigation coordinator, deputy Commissioner Ottilie Kashuupulwa, said that she was not aware that any such case had been opened.
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