Those affected by SME Bank saga can lay charges: LAC

13 Jul 2017 15:10pm
WINDHOEK, 13 JUL (NAMPA) - People who have suffered damages as a result of the liquidation of the SME Bank can lay criminal charges with the Namibian Police.
Director of the Legal Assistance Centre (LAC), Toni Hancox said this in response to an enquiry by Nampa on who can lay criminal charges following the discovery of what appeared to be untraceable investments of close to N.dollars 200 million at the SME Bank, allegedly made in South Africa.
“A person who has been aggrieved by the activities of another person can lay a criminal charge with the Namibian Police Force. The police must then investigate the charge and the prosecution services will ultimately decide whether there is merit to the charge,” Hancox explained.
She also said there is nothing stopping the relevant ministry from requesting the local prosecution services to investigate alleged wrongdoing within one of its structures, such as the SME Bank, and to take appropriate action.
Meanwhile, in a report by local daily newspaper New Era on Thursday NamPol Inspector-General, Lieutenant-General Sebastian Ndeitunga likened the scandal to organised crime.
He said the evidence gathered by both the Namibian Police and their counterparts in South Africa in connection with the N.dollars 200 million SME Bank scandal thus far points to “a high possibility of organised crime where locals and foreigners are involved”.
NamPol started their investigations after the Bank of Namibia referred the case to the police’s commercial investigations unit, said Ndeitunga.
The BoN in April 2017 disempowered six executives and directors of the SME Bank and took charge of it following the discovery of what appeared to be unsound investments of N.dollars 200 million.
The six are Chief Executive Officer, Tawanda Mumvuma; Finance Manager, Joseph Banda; General Manager of Treasury and Investments, Alec Gore; Chairperson of the Board, George Simataa; Vice-Chairperson, Enock Kamushinda and Ordinary Director, Ozias Bvute.
The Namibian Government has over the past four years pumped about N.dollars 477 million into the SME Bank since its establishment in 2013.
On Monday this week, the SME Bank was provisionally closed down as per order by High Court Judge Hannelie Prinsloo.
The SME Bank is now placed under the control of the Master of the High Court, pending the issuing of a final order for its complete closure on 15 September 2017.