Kimberley - A city businessman appeared in the Kimberley Magistrate’s Court on Thursday after allegedly “faking” a robbery at his home and then claiming to police that diamonds worth R10 million were stolen during the incident. Marcel Karsten, 38, was arrested at his home in Carters Glen on Wednesday and spent the night in custody before appearing in the Kimberley Magistrate’s Court on Thursday on a charge of defeating or obstructing the course of justice.
According to his charge sheet, Karsten called the police on June 1 and claimed that a housebreaking and theft had taken place at his home in Swartberg Avenue, Carters Glen and that property, including diamonds to the value of R10 million, was stolen during the incident.
The police attended to the housebreaking and theft complaint, investigated the scene and opened a docket, but it later came to light that no housebreaking or theft took place and that Karsten allegedly committed the offence himself to cover up the theft of diamonds stored at his house for safekeeping.
It is believed that the diamonds involved were given to Karsten for safekeeping by the son of a prominent diamond dealer, who recently died after a housebreaking and attack at his home. The son apparently feared that he would be the target of a similar attack. It is further believed that the son opened theft charges against Karsten, but then withdrew them later.
While the State on Thursday indicated that bail of R5 000 had been agreed upon and that it would not be opposing Karsten’s release on bail, Karsten was ordered to pay bail of R10 000 by Magistrate Doll Mokoto, after it came to light that Karsten had a previous conviction (illegal possession of diamonds).
Karsten’s father was seen at the court’s cash office shortly after proceedings concluded, presumably paying the R10 000 bail to secure his son’s release from custody. The case was postponed to next month for further investigation and Karsten was warned to appear or face re-arrest.
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