Tax refund fraud case postponed to 2017

17 Oct 2016 15:20pm
WINDHOEK, 17 OCT (NAMPA) – A Windhoek Magistrate Monday postponed for the last time the case of 17 people arrested in December 2015 in connection with the alleged fraud on tax refunds on about N.dollars 114 million at the Receiver of the Revenue.
The group of Namibians and Angolans re-appeared before Magistrate, Eden Iyambo when the postponement of the case for police investigations was made final as it had been on the court's roll since 04 December 2015.
The case was adjourned to 27 February 2017 as per agreement reached between Public Prosecutor, Ivann Tjivu and the accused’s defence lawyers.
The group consist of 15 Angolans and two Namibians.
The 15 accused Angolans 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 two Namibians are Joshua Kaviyu Hidinwa and Mamsy Mweneni Hilma Nuuyoma. They are listed as accused number one and number two, respectively.
Each of the 17 suspects faces a charge of fraud, forgery and altering an official document. The court under provisions of the Anti-Corruption Act of 2006 is dealing with these charges.
The accused persons were all arrested by investigators attached to the Anti-Corruption Commission (ACC).
They allegedly defrauded the Government of about N.dollars 114 million through the Ministry of Finance between 2013 and 2015.
Some of the accused persons were arrested at the Ministry of Finance's Value Added Tax (VAT) office in Ausspannplatz, Windhoek, while trying to claim tax refunds in December 2015.
A tax refund agent, who allegedly collaborated with the ACC, called the Angolans to come and collect their cheques at the VAT office and this resulted in their arrest.
The arrests of the accused were a result of the ACC's investigations at the request of the Ministry of Finance into cases where VAT receipts were forged in order to claim refunds from the Receiver of Revenue.
The ACC launched investigations into the group's activities in 2015.
All suspects are free on bail of between N.dollars 5 000 and N.dollars 20 000, which was granted after they brought formal bail applications before court during the course of 2016.
Defence lawyers Orben Sibeya; Titus Mbaeva; Mbushandje Nhinda; Vetu Uanivi; Christian Nambahu; Ray Rukoro; and George Neves are representing the accused persons.