Businessman Mbok alleged fraud trial begins on Tuesday

16 Mar 2015 11:50am
WINDHOEK, 16 MAR (NAMPA) - The trial of Cameroonian-born businessman Antoine Mbok in an alleged fraud case involving N.dollars 3,9 million, is scheduled to kick-off in the High Court here on Tuesday.
Mbok is charged in the case of alleged fraud along with a 40-year-old Namibian,Daniel Nghiwilepo, who is currently in the employ of the Namibia Wildlife Resorts (NWR).
The two men made a brief appearance in the High Court before Judge Nate Ndauendapo on Monday when their alleged fraud case was ordered to stand down until Tuesday morning at 10h00 as per agreement reached by the accused persons' defence lawyers of Advocate Louis Botes and Brownell Uirab, as well as prosecution representative, State Advocate Shakwa Nyambe.
The case was postponed to Tuesday on a request by the prosecution in order to obtain some outstanding documents pertaining to the case.
Initially, the two men were charged along with 39-year-old Veronika Kituna Thomas, a registry clerk at the Ministry of Finance's Head Office in the capital.
Thomas was on 26 March 2012 sent to jail for eight (8) years after she had admitted to the charges of fraud and corruption involving N.dollars 3,9 million.
The 39-year-old Thomas pleaded guilty to five counts of corruptly using her office at the Ministry of Finance and her position for self-gratification when she admitted to the charges of fraud and corruption.
For this offence and upon her own guilty pleas on five counts, she was sentenced to 12 years imprisonment by High Court Judge Alfred Siboleka.
As per Judge Siboleka's order, four (4) years of the imposed punishment were suspended for a period of five years on condition that Thomas does not commit any offence of fraud and corruption during the period of suspension.
As a result, she was sentenced to an effective eight years imprisonment.
The trio - Mbok, Nghiwilepo and convict Thomas – allegedly defrauded several companies and Government agencies of up to N.dollars 3,9 million in Valued-Added Tax (VAT) and returns for import VAT.
The indictment states that between 25 January 2010 and 18 February 2010, five cheques were intercepted at the Ministry of Finance by Thomas and deposited into Mbok's company (M Finance) bank account.
According to the Anti-Corruption Commission (ACC), which was the investigating agency of the alleged fraud and corruption case, the five affected entities were GS Fainsinger Associates and Consulting Engineers; the Ministry of Health and Social Services' Global Fund; Edu Loan (now Letshego Financial Services Namibia); Kalahari Sands Hotel and Casino; and AfriSam Cement Namibia.
However, Mbok and Nghiwilepo each pleaded not guilty to 10 counts of charges related to fraud and corruption, and their case was separated from that of Thomas.
Mbok's company is a corporate body, and is duly registered as M Finance (PTY) Limited in accordance with Namibian Company Laws.
The ACC said that after the deposits were made to Mbok's company, about N.dollars 277 450 was withdrawn, while a further US.dollars 14 730 (about N.dollars 103 000) was transferred electronically to a company called Strong Technologies for the purchase of Digital Satellite Receivers in Dubai in the United Arab Emirates.
At the time, the deposits were made into Mbok's company bank account (M Finance), several names of depositors were allegedly used by the accused persons in order to conceal the nature, origin, location, disposition and movement of the property, the ACC stated.
Mbok is free on a bail of N.dollars 3 000, while Nghiwilepo is free on a warning.
Convict Thomas is now a State witness in the case.