WINDHOEK - The Anti-Corruption Commission (ACC) investigator that arrested Mamsy Mweneni Nuuyoma during a sting operation at Aveshe Consultancy on December 1, 2015 yesterday testified during the first day of an enquiry into the admissibility of certain documents that were confiscated from the house she rented with Boykie Naukosho in Dorado Park.
According to Victoria Shikukumwa, on the morning of the sting operation, she was summoned by ACC Chief Investigator Nelius Becker and was informed that they were going to hit Aveshe Consultancy, which was responsible for issuing VAT refunds to foreigners buying in Namibia and exporting the goods.
Shikukumwa testified in the multi-million Value Added Tax refund scam currently underway in the Windhoek High Court before Acting Judge Kobus Miller and his two assessors.
She was especially tasked with securing Nuuyoma, the witness said. She further told Judge Miller who is presiding over the trial within a trial without his two assessors, John Mandy and Yolande Böttger, that when they arrived at Aveshe, they found at least if not more than 30 people.
Some of the people were called there to act as interpreters for the Angolan nationals who were claiming VAT refunds while others were there as companions and other only there to provide passports. She said she immediately went to where Nuuyoma was seated and secured her, taking her cellphone and several documents she found on the table. The suspects were then rounded up by ACC agents with the help of the Namibian Police and taken to the ACC head office where they were interviewed and those that had nothing to do with the matter released.
She said that she personally took possession of Nuuyoma and the latter remained in her office for at least hours before she had a chance to interview her. The witness further stated that when the interview started, Nuuyoma informed her that she is a client of Sisa Namandje and she (Shikukumwa) called Mbandje Ntinta at Namandje’s office.
She was then told that Nuuyoma are not to make a statement without her lawyer present, but that she can answer questions that will not incriminate her. She further said that after she interviewed Nuuyoma, she took her to the flat she shared with Naukosho and when they arrived there, Naukosho gave them permission to enter the premises and search it.
“He (Naukosho) was very cooperative and even offered that we can search the main bedroom,” the witness testified.
According to her, the members of the Namibian Police then started to search the rooms and when they found any document related to tax refunds, they would hand it to her and she would then put in a witness bag which she would secure in front of Nuuyoma. All the documentary evidence were than taken to the ACC offices where she itemised the documents taken from Nuuyoma’s flat in front her and had her sign the list.
Nuuyoma however denied through her state funded lawyer, Advocate Winnie Christiaans, that she ever gave the ACC or the Namibian Police for that matter permission to search her house and any premises where property of hers was stored. Christiaans disputed that the ACC had permission to search and seized her property and said the search was done in contravention of the Namibian Constitution and the ACC Act. He further said that Shikukumwa knew that Nuuyoma had a lawyer, but that she went behind the lawyer’s back when she took Nuuyoma to her house and searched the premises.
The amount involved in the massive VAT fraud scam has more than doubled from the initial N$114 million to more than N$210 million, it emerged from the indictment document. The trial continues today with Shikukumwa still under cross-examination.