WINDHOEK – Two men who are being tried for allegedly trying to steal N$1.1 million from Air Namibia denied any wrongdoing at the start of their trial yesterday in the Windhoek Regional Court.
The accused, Penna Munyunda, 31, and Tangi Amon Namwandi, 33, took a no guilty plea before magistrate Surita Savage.
Namwandi through his defence lawyer Sisa Namandje denied that he worked with someone at the national airliner in an attempt to steal money that was deposited into his company’s account.
In a written statement read out by Namandje, Namwandi informed the court that he does not dispute that an amount of N$1.1 million was deposited into his company Normma CC’s account held at First National Bank on the date in question by Air Namibia.
Namwandi further admitted that he spent N$289 000 of the said money.
Reading the statement, Namandje explained that his client only spent the money because he believed that the money was his, paid into his company’s account by his debtors.
Munyunda opted not to furnish the court with any plea explanation, citing that the onus is on the state to prove the allegations levelled against him.
The two men were arrested on 4 October 2017.
It is alleged that a local bank alerted Air Namibia of a detected dubious diversion of money that was meant for payments to the Namibia Airports Company (NAC).
It is alleged that the transfer in question was fully authorized and signed off to be paid to NAC when a suspicious request was made to the bank for the money to be transferred to a different bank account other than that of NAC.
The prosecution is charging Munyunda with a count of fraud with an alternative count of theft in connection with the N$1.1 million; a count of fraud and alternative count of theft in connection with N$760 000; two counts of disguising unlawful origin of a property in relation to N$1.1 million and N$760 000 respectively, with two alternative counts of disguising unlawful origin of a property respectively.
Namwandi is charged with one count of theft in relation to N$1.1 million; a count of disguising unlawful origin of a property in connection to the N$1.1 million, with an alternative count of unlawful disguise of the origin of a property in relation to the N$1.1 million, and a count of acquisition, use and possession of proceeds of unlawful activities on diverse occasions.
The trial is ongoing in the Windhoek Regional Court with Fillemon Nyau prosecuting.