Coenie Botha, Zimbabwean wife arrested and  charged over CBI Global

NAMIBIA: Fraud accused… Coenraad Botha and and his Zimbabwean wife Charlotte Murove have been arrested and dragged to the Windhoek Magistrate’s Court on a charge of fraud. It is alleged they conducted banking business while not authorised to do so. It is alleged they defrauded investors to the tune of N$160 million(about US$8.5 Million). 

Botha and Murove were arrested last month at Buitepos near the Botswana/Namibia border after the police allegedly received intelligence that they were planning to flee the country. Their companies, CBI Exchange and Papaya Investments, are under investigation by the police after the Bank of Namibia instituted charges of conducting banking business without authorisation. Mukuyu, however, found that the police did not take the court into their confidence on the authenticity of the alleged intelligence, and did not provide any proof of the couple’s intention to “flee” the country. He said there is no ban on travelling imposed on the couple by any authorised State agency or court. As such, they cannot just be arrested when seen at a border post or airport, for that matter. He further stated that what makes matters even worse is that the arresting officer tried to “squeeze” in fraud, a schedule one offence, to justify the arrests of the two accused. This, he said, was just an afterthought.

The State alleges that Botha and Murove, through their crypto currency business CBI Exchange, received deposits from the public of just more than N$162 million, which they were not authorised to receive. They face 64 charges, including 31 counts of conducting banking business without authorisation, one charge of fraud, 31 counts of money laundering and one count of conducting a Ponzi scheme. It is alleged that they mispresented to investors during the period 2018 and 2022 that they were operating a legitimate business authorised to receive investments from the public, and that such investments would grow with interest, while knowing that they were not authorised to receive any payments from the public.

Bank of Namibia Launches Probe into CBI Exchange Amid Allegations of Unlicensed Banking Activities

In response to mounting suspicions, the Bank of Namibia (BoN) has initiated an investigation into the operations of CBI Exchange Namibia and its principal figure, Mr. Coenraad Barend Nolte Botha. The entities are under scrutiny for purportedly engaging in banking activities without proper authorization, an act deemed illegal under section 6 of the Banking Institutions Act.

BoN’s inquiry, though not explicitly labeled as such, echoes the gravity of securities fraud allegations. Following their investigation, BoN has determined that CBI Exchange and Botha were operating without the necessary licensing from the Bank, thus violating banking regulations. Consequently, the Bank has referred the matter to the Namibian Police for further investigation, considering the conduct as a criminal offense under the Act.

Mr. Botha has been apprehended and made a court appearance, with the legal proceedings now under the jurisdiction of prosecuting authorities. BoN urges individuals who may have fallen victim to Botha’s schemes to reach out to the Namibian Police for assistance.

Botha’s involvement in crypto-related schemes dates back to his association with Uhuru Tribe in 2018, which later rebranded as CBI Global (also known as CBI Exchange) following Uhuru Tribe’s collapse in November 2020. However, CBI Global faced multiple collapses in 2021, prompting regulatory actions from both the Bank of Namibia and South Africa’s Financial Sector Conduct Authority (FSCA).

Reports suggest that Botha may have misappropriated N$160 million (approximately $8.5 million USD) through CBI Global alone, although the total extent of his alleged fraudulent activities remains uncertain, particularly concerning funds obtained through Uhuru Tribe.

FSCA Hits Coenie Botha with R216 Million Fine; Debars Him for 10 Years”

The Financial Sector Conduct Authority (FSCA) has delivered a severe blow to Coenraad “Coenie” Botha, imposing a colossal fine exceeding R216 million and banning him from financial operations for a decade. Botha, known as the director of CBI X SA (Pty) Ltd and the founder of Coin Based Innovation Global, was found guilty of breaching the Banks Act. Under the guise of CBI entities, Botha enticed investors with promises of extraordinary returns ranging from 1% to 4% weekly, a scheme devoid of genuine financial products or investments.

According to the FSCA’s investigation, Botha, along with CBI X SA and CBI Association, violated section 11(1) of the Banks Act between March 19, 2019, and January 6, 2022. This section prohibits individuals from conducting banking business unless registered as a public company and authorized as a bank under the Act.

The imposed fine of R216,051,141 must be settled within 30 days from the FSCA’s order date of March 25. Additionally, Botha retains the option to contest his debarment and fine by appealing to the Financial Services Tribunal.

Amidst these legal battles, Botha faces further scrutiny in Namibia. Authorities in the country are pursuing charges against him and his wife, Charlotte Murove, for alleged unauthorized banking activities and fraud. Botha’s investment scheme, operating under CBI Exchange Namibia (Pty) Ltd, formerly known as Uhuru Tribe or Uhuru Cash, purportedly collected deposits from the public without proper authorization from the Bank of Namibia. The couple’s legal ordeal in Namibia involves accusations of fraud, conducting banking business without authorization, money laundering, and running a Ponzi scheme.

Although initially released due to procedural issues, Botha and Murove were re-arrested on March 22 and are currently seeking bail, a move contested by the State. Their legal entanglements highlight the complex web of allegations and legal battles surrounding Botha’s financial activities, both in South Africa and Namibia.