MVA lost N$1,2m in fraudulent claims
By Confidente Reporter
THE Namibian police is investigating no less than 62 suspected fraudulent claims whereby members of the public allegedly tried to claim for accident-related injuries that were either non-existent or not authenticated.
Confidente understands that the individuals in question tried to defraud the Motor Vehicle Accident (MVA) Fund out of more than N$2.2 million after they submitted fraudulent claims.
According to MVA-Fund chief executive officer Rosalia Martins–Hausiku, the suspect cases were reported to the Namibian Police by the MVA for further investigations. She said the cases surfaced between the year 2000 and end of March 2019.
“The amount of N$1 294 581.36 was actually paid out for fraudulent claims, while the Fund could have potentially lost N$2 256 235.13 if fraud was not detected.”
Furthermore, she said “thirteen suspects have been arrested from the year 2000 until 31 March 2019. One of these suspects has successfully been prosecuted while 12 [cases] are pending in court.”
In addition, Martins-Hausiku said the MVA will not tolerate fraud and corruption and has developed appropriate processes to minimise the risk of fraud and where it occurs, to prosecute the perpetrators.
“Regular raising and refreshing of staff awareness on fraud and corruption as well as the Fund’s Anti-Fraud hotline 0811 550 505, which can be utilized by its employees and the public upon the detection of claims fraud, are some of the processes to minimize the risk of fraud,” she added.
Between 2005 and 2014, lawyer Amurugam Thambapilai and 10 co-accused faced charges of fraudulent claims lodged with MVA Fund. Thambapilai was charged because he allegedly lodged fraudulent claims on behalf of clients through his Ongwediva-based law firm.
He was arraigned on 16 charges, consisting of six main charges of fraud, seven counts of forgery and uttering, two counts of theft and a charge of attempting to defeat or obstruct the course of justice. His co-accused were each charged with between one and five counts, with each of them facing at least one charge of fraud.
Thambapilai, however denied that he at no stage had any intention to defraud the MVA Fund or anyone else.