WALVIS BAY – Two taxation officers at the Ministry of Finance, Inland Revenue at Walvis Bay were denied bail yesterday morning following their arrest on Monday afternoon for allegedly soliciting bribe of N$100 000 from a taxpayer.
The two, Olga Melanie Claassen (43) and Daleen Damens (36) allegedly solicited the bribe in exchange to alter and or manipulate the taxation system in favour of the taxpayer.
According to a statement by the Anti-Corruption Commission, the said taxpayer could not afford to give the N$100 000 as requested and instead opted to pay N$20 000 rather. The taxpayer allegedly reported the matter to the ACC in Swakopmund who immediately launched a sting operation on Tuesday resulting in the arrest of the duo while in possession of the N$20 000 that was given to them as a bribe. According to the ACC, this was not the first time the suspects allegedly demanded a bribe in exchange for beneficial treatment from the tax office and thus called upon the ministry to scrutinise all files handled by the two suspects. During their first appearance in chambers, the duo was told that the State at this stage is opposing bail as the case is still in its early stage.
State prosecutor Maggy Shiyagaya-Lotto said the two destroyed evidence related to the case and could face more charges.
She also said that the accused might also interfere with the witness as well as the whistle-blower.
Magistrate Vicky Nicolaidis then postponed the case to next week Thursday for the two to formally apply for bail through their lawyer, Ray Likoro.