A PROMINENT Windhoek pharmacist was arrested Tuesday for allegedly defrauding fellow medical practitioners out of millions of dollars in a black empowerment pharmaceutical group.
Owner of Crystal Pharmacy, Chaardi Birgitta Klein who also doubles as an accountant, allegedly took the mickey out of her medical colleagues in the pharmaceutical self-empowerment group, CareMed by kite-flying hundreds of thousands from accounts meant for CareMed into her own accounts.
Because of her accounting background, Klein was entrusted with signing powers by fellow CareMed partners, including Ismael Katjitae, Zendi Erkana, Kondjeni Kafidi, Paul Kanyama, Helena Ndume, Augustinus Goagoseb, Elizabeth Kamati and Ben Ngairorue. Doctor Katjitae is the Chairperson of CareMed.
On one occasion, it emerged that a cheque of N$650,000 meant for CareMed ended up in her own account. “In a space of a few days the amount was reduced to N$2,000,” Dr. Katijtae said. He claimed that another N$67,000 meant for the suppliers also ended up in her own account.
The doctors estimate that Klein could have siphoned in excess of N$2 million from CareMed.
He alleged that Klein has also been double crossing her partners by tendering through Crystal Pharmacy for the same Government services that she and her patners in CareMed have been tendering for.
The medical doctors have each been pumping more than N$160,000 into the ambitious project over the last year with the ultimate aim of building a Namibian-owned pharmaceutical producing company “but the company has been bleeding without self-sustenance.”
“It’s another thing if we were not making money but we realised that something was fishy and immediately ordered an audit into the books of the company
We were selling and supplying pharmaceutical products but we were continuously bailing out the company,” he added.
“We trusted her because of her accounting background and pharmaceutical strength to run the business for an agreed fee of N$5,000 per month. We laid charges with the police when we noticed several irregularities,” he said.
He said CareMed instituted the audit as a fiduciary duty of each director to account for corporate governance.
CareMed was established by the doctors without external funding and had established sound relations with one of South Africa’s largest pharmaceutical companies Aspen. The company has been supplying medicine to Government hospitals and clinics, general practitioners and local pharmacies.
Klein was remanded in custody and the case was postponed to October 15 for further investigations.
Bradley Basson represented her while public prosecutor Linus Samaria acted for the State. Alsie Schickerling presided as the Magistrate.