ACC nabs “fake”blasters, charges each with fraud

Five suspects were arrested by the Swakopmund branch of the Anti-Corruption Commission (ACC) this week after they were found to have allegedly falsified Open Pit Blasting Ticket Certificates. A sixth suspect is yet to be arrested and charged.

The five suspects appeared in the Regional Court in Swakopmund on Tuesday this week where they were granted bail to the tune of N$10 000 each. They face various counts of fraud as well as multiple counts of contravening the anti-corruption act. The case was postponed to 30 November for further investigations and to offer the accused the opportunity to engage a legal representative.
According to a statement by the ACC the case dates back to 2009, when allegations were made that employees from the Karibib Mining Construction Company obtained Open Pit Blasting Ticket Certificates from the Ministry of Mines & Energy – even though they allegedly did not complete the required hours of blasting. The blasting tickets were issued after the Senior Contract Manager Mr Johannes Crawford supplied the Ministry with information that the employees qualified to be tested after completing the required hours for blasting of shifts worked and time sheets. After questioning the accused though it turned out they did not have the required experience.
According to the charge sheet Crawford is facing a total of five counts of fraud. The other accused, Jacques Andre Krynauw, Pienaar Majoor, Ephraim Nero Narib and Conrad Brockerhoff, each are charged with one count of fraud. The sixth suspect, which is yet to be arrested, is set to be charged with five counts of fraud. Information received by namib times indicate that the accused are still employed at mines in the Erongo Region. Two suspects hold senior positions at the Husab Uranium mine, while the three other accused work at Karibib Mining Construction Company. “This is a very serious matter as blasting is very dangerous, especially without the required experience,” said Walter Kurz, Chief Investigating Officer at the ACC in Swakopmund.

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