WINDHOEK, 01 AUG – The case of 18 people arrested in December 2015 in connection with a value added tax (VAT) fraud scam involving about N$210 million, has been delayed until mid-August this year.
The group includes two Namibians and 16 Angolans.
They made another appearance before High Court Judge Boas Usiku on Wednesday during a pre-trial case management review when their fraud case was postponed to 16 August 2018 to allow both the prosecution team and defence lawyers to prepare the separation of documents in respect of the trial of three Angolans who want to enter guilty pleas to the charges against them.
The three Angolans intending to plead guilty are Joaquim Pedro Espanhol, Euginio Pio Do Amaral Gourgel and Paulino Manuel Natal.
The trio’s case will be separated from the trial of the rest of the accused persons when they enter their guilty pleas to the charges on 16 August 2018.
The two Namibians in the matter are Mamsy Nuuyoma and Noah Boykie Naukosho, while the other Angolan nationals are Lukau Nestor, Benvindo Momafuba, Pembele Zimutu, Paulo Kiala, Joao Manuel dos Santos, Tatiana Gonga, Carlos Eliseu, Isaac Cupessala, Paquete Jose, Malakias Rufine, Carlos Tchinduku, Miapa Nelson and Lucio Cazembe.
The accused were arrested by investigators attached to the Anti-Corruption Commission (ACC) at the end of December 2015 for allegedly defrauding Government of N$210 million through the Ministry of Finance over a few years.
The arrests followed investigations by the ACC between January 2014 and December 2015 at the request of the ministry into cases where VAT receipts were forged in order to claim refunds from the Receiver of Revenue.
The accused are charged with 512 counts of fraud, conspiring to commit fraud, forgery and uttering, a count of corruptly using false documents and a charge of corruptly giving a false document to an agent of the company, Aveshe Consultancy, which manages VAT refunds on behalf of the finance ministry.
They are being represented by local defence lawyers Kadhila Amoomo, Bradley Basson, Kalundu Kamwi, Trevor Brockerhoff, George Neves, Hipura Ujaha and Appollos Shimakeleni.
Al the accused – except Nuuyoma, Nestor, Momafuba, Zimutu, Gonga, Gourgel, Cazembe, Cupessala and Naukosho – are in police custody at the Windhoek Central Correctional Facility.