Fake diamond dealer nabbed at HKIA

… has pending case in which he scammed an American investor N$ 700 000

• By Uaueza Kanguatjivi

A 33-year-old Namibian man, Efraim Kapia appeared in court earlier this week after he was arrested at the Hosea Kutako International Airport while in possession of 11 diamond testers and more than 100 precious stones which he intended to smuggle out to Dubai.

Kapia who was arrested on Friday and made his first court appearance on Tuesday where he faced additional charges of contravening section 157 of the Criminal Procedure Act (CPA).

It is the state case that Kapia was a dealmaker in another case in which he and co-accused, Natangwe Shipulwa (46) and Ngifikepunye Kandjambanga (26) were charged with counts of fraud and theft under false pretence.

According to court documents, sometime between February and May of this year, the accused persons wrongfully, unlawfully, falsely and with the intent to defraud, gave out and pretended to sell unpolished diamonds to Joshua Rosborough under the auspices that were authorised diamond dealers, in possession of genuine diamonds.

In court proceedings, state prosecutor, Phelem Like said state opposed granting the accused bail as he was arrested by chance at the airport

“The state rejects bail as it has established the accused is a Namibian born in Angola and may abscond from trial proceedings. He was arrested en-route to Dubai with precious stones in his possession, the accused is a dealer maker in another pending case where together with his co-accused, defrauded a potential American investor,” Like said.

He added that considering the seriousness of the charge the accused is facing, the state alleges the possibility of the accused committing a similar offence, hence granting bail would not be in the interest of the public or in the interest of the administration of justice.

Appearing on behalf of Kapia, lawyer, Salamon Kanyemba, said, “I am shocked that the investigating officer would give instructions to oppose bail. Is this the same treatment other accused were subjected to? My instruction is the accused be allowed to pay bail of N$2000 and the matter be remanded to 27 February 2023, as it stands now there are no grounds for objections,” Kanyemba said.

To this Magistrate, Klazen said, “a bail application is sui generis in nature. The accused person does not have the right to bail but has the right to apply for bail. Therefore, the court must hold an inquiry to allow the accused person bail or for the application to be moved. This court and others have developed that the court must hear the state on its grounds.”

It is the state’s case that Kapia and his co-accused are a part of a syndicate which the state has evidence against. The proof points to Kapia having received money from the complaint, one Joshua Rosborough in the amount of N$ 700 000.

“It would not be in the interest of the public because the initial crime you committed was to a foreign national who is also an investor in Namibia. You pretended to be a certified diamond dealer and scammed Rosborough.

“Namibia’s resources come from mining and natural resources which contribute to the country’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP). We object to bail because of the fear that once we grant you bail you will abscond,” Like said.

Called on the witness stand, and smiling during his witness statement, Kapia said he would not abscond as he has a family to take care of.

To this, Like said, “are you aware that there have been people before this court who said they would not abscond but have absconded and have never set foot in this court.

In his closing arguments, Kanyemba said, “there have been others before the court, but Kapia’s co-accused were granted bail and have not absconded yet.”

Matter was remanded to November 18 for submissions by parties pertaining to bail ruling.