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Beware! New scam

The Bank of Namibia has issued a warning that a new scam is targetting businesses. It is run predominantly from South Africa.
The fraudsters approach a Namibian company (the debtor) through e-mail, telephone or official business correspondence by an individual claiming to be an employee of a company or organization (the creditor) to whom the Namibian company must make a payment.
The crooks then advise the Namibian company that the creditor’s bank details have been changed and that all future payments should be channeled to the new account of which particulars have been provided in the correspondence. These individuals pretend to be employees of the creditor business/organization and subsequently present false invoices on a letterhead similar to that of the creditor’s invoice with the false bank details.
The scammers make use of names and logos of legitimate businesses or organisations that are creditors. These are used as convincing elements to have funds transferred into their bogus bank accounts. The fraudsters also use email addresses similar to those of the legitimate creditor. For example the email address may look almost identical to the company’s e-mail address but may be a “Gmail” address.
These fraudsters also make use of a typical “Invoice Fraud” where a genuine invoice from a supplier is intercepted and modified through the insertion of false bank details. The unsuspecting Namibian business then settles the invoice and pays the funds into the false bank account appearing on the invoice. The discrepancies are only discovered when the genuine supplier contacts the local business for payment.
The Bank of Namibia said companies should be very alert when contacted to change the bank details of their known suppliers from South Africa. Local companies should not transfer funds  where they have been advised of changes in the bank details of the supplier without verifying the change in writing and confirming this with the authorised respresentative of the South African company.

About The Author

Following reverse listing, public can now acquire shareholding in Paratus Namibia


20 February 2020, Windhoek, Namibia: Paratus Namibia Holdings (PNH) was founded as Nimbus Infrastructure Limited (“Nimbus”), Namibia’s first Capital Pool Company listed on the Namibian Stock Exchange (“NSX”).

Although targeting an initial capital raising of N$300 million, Nimbus nonetheless managed to secure funding to the value of N$98 million through its CPC listing. With a mandate to invest in ICT infrastructure in sub-Sahara Africa, it concluded management agreements with financial partner Cirrus and technology partner, Paratus Telecommunications (Pty) Ltd (“Paratus Namibia”).

Paratus Namibia Managing Director, Andrew Hall

Its first investment was placed in Paratus Namibia, a fully licensed communications operator in Namibia under regulation of the Communications Regulatory Authority of Namibia (CRAN). Nimbus has since been able to increase its capital asset base to close to N$500 million over the past two years.

In order to streamline further investment and to avoid duplicating potential ICT projects in the market between Nimbus and Paratus Namibia, it was decided to consolidate the operations.

Publishing various circulars to shareholders, Nimbus took up a 100% shareholding stake in Paratus Namibia in 2019 and proceeded to apply to have its name changed to Paratus Namibia Holdings with a consolidated board structure to ensure streamlined operations between the capital holdings and the operational arm of the business.

This transaction was approved by the Competitions Commission as well as CRAN, following all the relevant regulatory approvals as well as the necessary requirements in terms of corporate governance structures.

Paratus Namibia has evolved as a fully comprehensive communications operator in Namibia and operates as the head office of the Paratus Group in Africa. Paratus has established a pan-African footprint with operations in six African countries, being: Angola, Botswana, Mozambique, Namibia, South Africa and Zambia.

The group has achieved many successes over the years of which more recently includes the building of the Trans-Kalahari Fibre (TKF) project, which connects from the West Africa Cable System (WACS) eastward through Namibia to Botswana and onward to Johannesburg. The TKF also extends northward through Zambia to connect to Dar es Salaam in Tanzania, which made Paratus the first operator to connect the west and east coast of Africa under one Autonomous System Number (ASN).

This means that Paratus is now “exporting” internet capacity to landlocked countries such as Zambia, Botswana, the DRC with more countries to be targeted, and through its extensive African network, Paratus is well-positioned to expand the network even further into emerging ICT territories.

PNH as a fully-listed entity on the NSX, is therefore now the 100% shareholder of Paratus Namibia thereby becoming a public company. PNH is ready to invest in the future of the ICT environment in Namibia. The public is therefore invited and welcome to acquire shares in Paratus Namibia Holdings by speaking to a local stockbroker registered with the NSX. The future is bright, and the opportunities are endless.