Two tax refund suspects granted bail

24 Feb 2016 19:30pm
WINDHOEK, 24 FEB (NAMPA) - Two persons, who were in December last year arrested with 17 others in connection with alleged tax fraud involving over N.dollars 114 million, were Wednesday granted bail of N.dollars 50 000 each.
The two – Namibian national Mamsy Mweneni Hilma Nuuyoma and Angolan national Lucio Jose Kazembe - were granted bail at the conclusion of their formal bail application hearing in the Windhoek Magistrate's Court.
The bail was granted with stringent conditions in that the accused persons should not interfere with all known and unknown suppliers of commodities purportedly exported by their Angolan clients, who are also charged with them in the tax refund fraud case.
The duo was also ordered not to interfere with investigations and must surrender their passports, and all other travel documents to Anti-Corruption Commission (ACC) Senior Investigator Carrel Patrick Cloete.
The suspects may also not apply for any travel documents that may allow them to exit the borders of Namibia and they must report themselves to the ACC's head office in Windhoek or to Cloete twice a day between 08h00 and 10h00 in the morning and between 15h00 and 17h00 in the afternoon.
They must also not leave the Windhoek District without prior arrangements or the permission of Cloete.
The bail was granted by Windhoek Magistrate Gerrit von Pletzen in the presence of the accused persons’ privately-instructed defence lawyer Kadhila Amoomo of the Sisa Namandje Legal Practitioners.
Senior Public Prosecutor Hans Thourob represented the prosecution during the bail hearing.
Meanwhile, on 14 January this year, the key suspect in the matter, Joshua Kaviyu Hidinwa who is an employee of the Ministry of Finance's Value Added Tax (VAT) Office, was granted bail in the amount of N.dollars 20 000.
This bail was granted by Windhoek Magistrate Ilge Rheent in the presence of the accused person’s privately-instructed defence lawyer Kalundu Kamwi.
In the matter before court, 16 Angolan nationals and three Namibians are each facing charges of tax refund fraud.
The 15 other Angolan nationals are Lukau Nestor; Benvindo Momafuba; Pembele Zimutu; Paulo Kiala; Joaquim Pedro Espanhol; Joao Manuel Dos Santos; Tatiana Luquena Muchadu Gonga; Carlos Victor Eliseu; Isaac Cativa Cupessala; Paquete Americo Kapayola Jose; Eugenio Pio Do Amaral Gourgel; Malakias Tomas Rufine; Paulino Manuel Natal; Carlos Feliciano Tchinduku; and Miapa Aurelio Nelson.
The third Namibian is Noa 'Boykkie' Naukushu.
Each of the 19 suspects faces a charge of fraud, forgery and the altering of an official document.
The charges are being dealt with in court under the provisions of the Anti-Corruption Act of 2006.
The accused persons were all arrested by investigators attached to the ACC on 01 December 2015 in Windhoek.
The Namibian newspaper quoted ACC Director-General Paulus Noa in December last year (2015) as saying the accused persons allegedly defrauded the Namibian Government of about N.dollars 114 million over several years.
Some of the accused persons were arrested at the Ministry of Finance's VAT Office at Ausspannplatz in Windhoek, while claiming tax refunds.
Windhoek-based defence lawyers Orben Sibeya; Gilroy Casper; Kadhila Amoomo; Hipura Usaha; Sisa Namandje; Veetu Uanivi; Christian Nambahu; Ray Rukoro; and George Neves are representing the accused persons.
The group's case was on 14 January this year postponed to 29 April 2016 to allow further police investigations.