WINDHOEK, 29 JUN – Three Air Namibia employees arrested in connection with a failed attempt to steal over N.dollars 1 million from the airline in October last year, have all denied committing the offence.
The three accused Penna Munyunda, 31; Tangi Amon Namwandi, 33; and Marx Felali Mahoto (age not provided) denied committing the alleged fraud when they entered their preliminary not guilty pleas on Thursday.
The trio entered their pleas to the charge of fraud before Windhoek Magistrate Vanessa Stanley and in the presence of their respective privately-instructed defence lawyers Sisa Namandje, Christian Nambahu and Jamelle Janke.
The three accused did not disclose the basis of their not guilty pleas and challenged the prosecution to prove each and every allegation contained in the charge sheet.
In addition, Public Prosecutor Marcus Angula also informed the court that police investigations into the alleged fraud matter are now complete and that the case can be referred to the Office of the Prosecutor-General (PG) for a decision to be taken on how to proceed with the case further.
In the result, the case was postponed until 26 September 2018 for the PG’s decision.
The three men are each free on bail of N.dollars 50 000 until their next court appearance. The bail was granted on 11 October 2017 with strict bail conditions attached, including that the three men report to police investigating officer, Detective Sergeant Kazondana at the Namibian Police Force’s Commercial Branch in Ausspannplatz on Mondays between 07h00 and 19h00.
They were also ordered to hand in all their travel documents to the investigating officer and are not allowed to apply for new travel documents.
According to the prosecution, N.dollars 190 000 of the N.dollars 1.4 million is reportedly unaccounted for at the moment.
The trio was arrested in October 2017 after Standard Bank Namibia alerted the airline that a staff member in its finance department had asked for money set aside as payment to the NAC, to be paid into a different bank account.
After the alert, Air Namibia’s internal audit department confiscated computers in the finance department for investigations and this led to their arrest.