Three admit guilt to insurance fraud

Mastermind also convicted on charge of money laundering

An elaborated insurance scam, whereby an employee of a vehicle recovery service in Walvis Bay was paid by people to have their vehicles crashed deliberately, by driving them into a heavy granite block next to the C14 road close to the Walvis Bay International Airport, ended in three criminal convictions and very hard lessons learnt.

Rodney Morkel (31), at the time an employee at WCC Recovery Services in Walvis Bay, pleaded guilty in the Swakopmund Regional Court last Friday – admitting he intentionally crashed the vehicles of two people, to enable them to file insurance claims.

Additionally, Morkel also pleaded guilty of making a false declaration to the Namibia Traffic Information Services (NaTIS) to have his own vehicle registered in his cousin’s name. He then insured the vehicle and also intentionally crashed it at the same site where he bumped the other cars and filed an insurance claim which was paid out to the tune of N$69 000.
A private investigator located the site late in 2018 where the vehicles were intentionally crashed. It is a heavy granite block located on the C14 road some five kilometres from Walvis Bay.
The vehicles were loaded on a recovery vehicle during the night, transported to the site where they were intentionally crashed against the rock.
Afterwards, the scene would be thoroughly cleaned from any parts that would either give the vehicles’ brand name or any serial numbers away. The perpetrator did not clean thorough enough. Pieces of vehicle accident debris left at the site eventually lead to the damaged vehicles – two at a scrap yard and the other at a spray painter’s premises.
For his part in this scam, Morkel was convicted of two counts of fraud for which he was fined N$60 000, a five year suspended sentence and an additional two years suspended sentence. Should Morkel be found guilty of any criminal offence during this two years period he would be sent off to prison. The fact that he received the insurance pay-out he was also found guilty of money laundering and fined N$30 000 with a five year suspended sentence.
Jason Hangala (37) was found guilty of fraud and received a fine of N$45 000 and a two year suspended prison sentence. He gave his vehicle to Morkel to crash against the rock. He filed an insurance claim of N$180 000.
The claim was not paid out, as the insurance company was suspicious at the time of the lodging of the claim.
Howard van Boven (43) was found guilty of fraud and fined N$45 000 with an additional two years suspended sentence. Van Boven also gave his vehicle to Morkel to crash against the rock. He subsequently lodged an insurance claim of N$152 000 which was also not paid out, based on suspicion it was a bogus claim.

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