Fortis Bank assisted a Belgian to steal the money an African deposited at the bank with impunity
In Belgium, many landlords like to rent their houses to foreigners because they find it comfortable to cheat them with impunity.
They demand three months guarantee which is often deposited at the bank by the renter and tenant with both signatures confirming the deposit.
The significance of this deposit is be used for repairs should in case, any damage occurs if the tenant is ready to leave but on many occasions, landlords refuse to give the tenants the money even though there isn't any damage.
In the year 2002, Mr. Daniel Sackey rented an apartment from one Mr. Pingnet Ludo of Jaak Embrechts Straat 19, at Deurne, a community in Antwerp.
According to the Belgium renting laws, a guarantee should be blocked in the bank and at the end of the contract, the guarantee can only be released with an agreement, signed by the tenant and the lessor.
A document with modification will not be accepted on the amount. By lack of an agreement the guarantee, can also be released by agreement after the lessor inspects his apartment.
"In the apartment, we had a problem concerning water bills and repairs which I deemed fit, I have been cheated upon for so long by Mr Pingnet Ludo over the years," said Mr Sackey.
"Through the negligence of Mr Pingnet my apartment was burgled by thieves when he gave the front door keys to my neighbours' acquaintance whom he has no knowledge of who they are."
After the break in of my apartment, the thieves made away with my laptop, camera, my car and many others including mobile phones, that case is also pending etc," said Mr Sackey.
Within the period of 5 years, Mr Pingnet refused to repair things in the house when something goes wrong. Once Mr Sackey asked him to enable the insurance company to take the repairs but he refused to obligate with his request.
Due to his attitude, not interested in solving the problems at the apartment, Mr Sackey decided to hold back some of the monthly rent and the yearly index which resulted in the exchange of letters, until he got the house inspection team from Antwerp to intervene, thereafter a date was fixed.
Unfortunately, that didn't help Mr Sackey. Mr Pingnet didn't carry out the repairs. He was successful to get away after the house inspectors came to see the problems in the house because he is a Belgian and they didn't do much because is an African living in that apartment.
Mr Sackey is aware of how a lot of Belgian landlords steal the guarantees or money deposited at the bank. Thus, immediately he went to the Fortis bank to check whether the guarantee is there. The bank official, Negra, asked Mr Sackey when the deposit was made at the bank.
Mr Sackey provided his identity card and the account number indicating the deposit of the amount. After a brief control, the Fortis Bank official told Mr Sackey that Mr Pingnet Ludo has claimed the money.
How can money deposited in my name with my signature be claimed by someone else? Asked Mr Sackey. Mr Pingnet successfully prepared the document and signed as Mr Daniel Sackey to claim the blocked money and the one that assisted him to commit this crime was one Vicky Donckers. B 1976.0.
It was at the bank Mr Sackey detected that Mr Pingnet Ludo forged his signature and withdrew the money before the fixed date to move into the apartment in July 2002. Since all those years he was living in that apartment before the problems surfaced Mr Pingnet has already stolen the money deposited at the bank.
The Belgian landlords who usually do that to foreigners have a way to enjoy their criminal activities with impunity. Mr Pingnet has reported Mr Sackey to the police that he owes him but didn't tell the police the reason he has delayed in giving him his money.
Mr Sackey has to go to the police station to meet the head inspector Van den Broeck Sven and showed him the forged signature of Mr Pingnet but nothing was done in his favour. That is Belgium, a country I have been living in the past sixteen years, nothing is done in favour of Africans, thus, most of the landlords are criminals.
To what extent can a bank conspire or collaborate with someone to steal money which belongs to another person with impunity? This is possible in Belgium because the victim of the fraud is an African.
Mr Sackey pointed out to the bank official that it's a crime. The best way to defend is to attack. The bank official wouldn't accept their fault because they don't want to be responsible for the theft, so she picked up a quarrel with Mr. Sackey.
When Mr Sakey told her that she will inform the police, she accepted and urged him to do the report because she knew her country very well, nothing is done in favour of an African, more over the media will never publish his story.
There is a time for everything. A time to come into this world and a time to die. A time to be happy and a time to be sad. African- victims of such injustices have no power to prosecute them but a time will come when those people may meet their waterloo that may be a painful situation than what this poor African went through but they may never understand.