WINDHOEK - Local socialite and businesswoman Dillish Mathews this week had her turn in the trial of two Namibians and 12 Angolans accused of defrauding government to the tune of over N$210 million through false tax refunds on purchases exported from the country.
The trial resumed on Monday before Windhoek High Court Acting Judge Kobus Miller.
Mathews, who rose to fame after winning the Big Brother Africa, The Chase in 2013, was testifying about a car she sold to one of the accused, Namibian citizen Noah Boykie Naukosho, 29.
According to her, she offered her car, a Golf GTI, for sale on social media for N$350 000 and was contacted by someone who introduced himself as Boykie and who had expressed interest in buying the vehicle.
She further told the court that the person informed her that he would have the cash ready after a few days and that his father would accompany him.
They then met at a local car dealer where Mathews informed the potential buyer that she wanted to upgrade to a newer model of Golf GTI.
She also demanded that Boykie pay the money directly into the bank account of the car dealer.
After a few days, they met at the bank and the “father” of Boykie paid in the N$350 000 in cash and when the money reflected on the account of the car dealer, she handed over the keys of the vehicle to them.
She further told the court that after a while, she was approached by the Anti-Corruption Commission who requested a statement. She said that was her total involvement in the matter.
After Mathews testified, the State called two witnesses from the Ministry of Finance, responsible for the payments of the refunds to Aveshe Consulting, the firm contracted to vet the claims for foreign VAT refunds.
Both Maxwell Kuamunika and Ingrid Mouton could, however, not shed any light on the vetting process as they are senior employees responsible for confirming that the amounts stated on the claims corresponds with the figures claimed.
According to Mouton, her two subordinates are the ones who ensure whether claims are valid before forwarding the batches to her.
She then opens up a general ledger to process payments after which she forward these to Kuamunika, who does the confirmation.
All of the accused in the matter pleaded not guilty to 629 counts of fraud alternatively theft, money laundering and corruptly giving a document containing false information to an agent before Judge Miller at the start of their trial earlier this year.
The amount involved in the massive value added tax fraud scam has more than doubled from the initial N$114 million to more than N$210 million, it emerged from the indictment document.
It is alleged that the accused were involved in the use of forged tax invoices, VAT claim forms and customs documentation to claim tax refunds from the Ministry of Finance.
In the meantime, the judge ordered that the matter should continue in the absence of one of the accused, Lucio Jose Cazembe, 43, who did not turn up for court.
The accused are Mamsy Mweneni Nuuyoma, 28, a Namibian citizen who worked at Aveshe Consultancy, the company managing VAT refunds on behalf of the ministry at the time the alleged fraud was committed.
She is facing 626 counts, including defeating or attempting to defeat the course of justice in addition to the other charges.
The other accused are Angolan citizens Benvindo Momafuba, Pembele Zimutu, Joaquim Pedro Espanhol, 35, Joao Manuel Dos Santos, 38, Tatiana Luquena Muchado Gonga, 28, Carlos Victor Elisea, 33, Isaac Cativa Cupessala, 43, Paquete Americo Kapayole Jose, Malakias Tomas Rufine, 29, Carlos Feleciano Tchinduku, Miapa Aurelio Nelson, 32. Each accused will be prosecuted on certain accusations only, according to the charge sheet.
2019-11-13 07:48:01 | 3 months ago