Car dealer allegedly scams 14 clients

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Car dealer allegedly scams 14 clients
Car dealer allegedly scams 14 clients

Africa-Press – Namibia. Fourteen people have claimed to have been scammed of a collective N$1 264 700 after failure to secure vehicles they ostensibly bought online.

The group has now mobilised on a WhatsApp group titled ‘Aili’s victims’ to collectively seek justice.

They say they individually deposited money as customers to purchase desired vehicles through the alleged Aili Magano Paulus companies, AMP Trading and ICM Japanese Trading that orders vehicles from Japan via the Walvis Bay harbour.

Nine of the alleged 14 victims provided documentary evidence as proof that they paid N$793 500 for the vehicles.

Nampa has also seen that the nine people opened cases of fraud with the Namibian Police against Paulus between 2021 and 2024.

Speaking to Nampa last week, the group’s spokesperson Karolien Louw, whose documents show that she is owed N$320 000, stressed that since 2021, she has been fighting to recover her money with the involvement of lawyers and NamPol. However, all efforts have proved futile.

“I am disappointed and hurt. I can’t believe that one person can tell so many lies… I initially made a post on Facebook on her page, ICM Japanese Trading, and that is where the people started contacting me, telling me that they have also been defrauded by her and so forth. It is just shocking that people have no conscience to steal from people like that,” she fumed.

Louw said the money she had deposited was meant to buy two vehicles, a Mercedes and Audi for her and her mother after she sold her house in Rehoboth.

“The worst thing for me is that I took the money from my mother, and she is a pensioner… She sold her house for me to get that money… And Aili always plays the victim when you try to enquire about your money. The other day when I asked about my money, she told me about her brother that has died, and the last time is that she was going to commit suicide… it’s all lies. I hope someone will learn out of this and be more cautious,” she said.

Another alleged victim, Frieda Nafindi from Walvis Bay, who indicated that she is owed N$116 000 by Paulus, narrated that she was introduced to the suspect by her cousin following intentions to buy a new car in 2021.

“I sold my car, and wanted to buy a new one. After being introduced to her as someone that orders cars for people, I deposited N$110 000 into Aili’s account after confirming that she had found my desired vehicle,” she said.

Nafindi said after a few weeks, Paulus claimed another N$36 000, bringing the total purchase for a Tiguan to N$146 000, stressing that since the money was paid, Paulus never delivered the vehicle and had since been avoiding, insulting and refusing to pay back the money.

“I involved my lawyer in the issue, and managed to recover only N$30 000 and since then, I also opened a case with the police, but nothing has been done to date, and she still owes me money,” Nafindi stressed.

She said the issue has left her depressed to the extent of almost wanting to commit suicide due to humiliation from her family and work peers – that she was scammed and is now walking as a result of not having a car.

Mercel Tense who is owed N$34 000, aired frustration that the legal system is failing consumers in cases of scammers, noting that even though many cases have been opened, nothing has been done to ensure that they recover their monies.

“It has been three years now for me fighting to get my money back or something. It seems like there is no legislation or direct approach from the legal side to deal with people of this nature that are scamming people.

Even though we have contracts signed and proof of payment for the purchases, failure always comes on grounds of technicality in the courts and this is what is frustrating everyone – that nothing can be done to recover their money,” he added.

Warrant Officer Silas Shipandeni of NamPol in the Khomas region confirmed that seven cases have been opened against Paulus in Windhoek, noting that most of the cases are still under investigation, while about four are before the Katutura and Windhoek magistrate’s courts, where she had appeared on numerous occasions.

“The public is advised to carefully consider and do proper background checks when buying vehicles online before depositing their hard-earned money.

The public is also advised to always reach out to the police for proper screening and background checks to see if the alleged seller of vehicles is not either wanted by police, or in conflict with the law concerning their business,” he noted.

Meanwhile, responding to Nampa over the weekend, Paulus said she is currently in contact with all clients whom she owes, and is refunding them gradually.

Paulus explained that she was unable to deliver the vehicles upon being jailed for seven months following failure to deliver a customer’s vehicle, which had left her bankrupt, resulting in non-delivery of clients’ vehicles.

“My business is a registered business. I was delivering as I started with it. The only problem that caused my business to go down is when one of my clients who was impatient went to open a case and I was arrested. So my business went down, and some of the cars that I purchased ended up being sold… And some of the deposit I sent to Japan I lost and from there, when I came out, it was like I am starting over with my business, and it’s difficult for me,” she narrated.

“I am not sure how many people I am owing because right now, I have my own brother who passed away, so I cannot know because I don’t have my book here, but some of the people I have started to refund,” she said.

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