WINDHOEK - The tax refund scam trial that was supposed to have started yesterday was postponed to today after Acting High Court Judge Kobus Miller was informed that several issues including legal representation for some of the accused still need resolving.
The judge was also informed that the main accused Mamsy Mweneni Nuuyoma, 27, a Namibian citizen who worked at Aveshe Consultancy, the company managing VAT refunds on behalf of the ministry at the time the frauds were committed, is currently on maternity leave.
Nuuyoma faces 192 counts including a count of defeating or attempting to defeat the course of justice in addition to the other charges. Her co-accused are another Namibian and 14 Angolans.
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 VAT refunds from the finance ministry.
The other accused are Noah Boykie Naukosho, 28, a Namibian facing two counts amounting to N$2.4 million; Angolans Kuakau Nestor, 56, facing 34 counts amounting to N$3. 3 million; Benvindo Momafuba, 48, facing 42 charges amounting to N$3.4 million; Pembele Zimutu, 52, facing 45 counts totalling N$22.7 million; Paulo Kiala, 48, facing eight charges totalling N$1.4 million is on the run; Joaquim Pedro Espanhol, 35, facing 10 counts totalling N$947 399.90; Joao Manuel Dos Santos, 38, facing 125 counts amounting to N$172.5 million; Tatiana Luquena Muchado Gonga, 27, facing one count; Carlos Victor Elisea, 33, facing eight counts totalling N$2.9 millio; 43-year-old Isaac Cativa Cupessala facing 46 counts amounting to N$3.1 million; Paquete Americo Kapayole Jose facing 14 counts totalling N$1.19 million; Malakias Tomas Rufine, 29, facing 18 counts amounting to N$2 million; Carlos Feleciano Tchinduku, 27, facing six counts amounting to N$489 212.40; Miapa Aurelio Nelson, 32, facing 43 counts totalling N$4.4 million and Lucio Jose Cazembe, 43, facing 112 counts amounting to N$7 million. Each accused will be prosecuted on certain accusations only, according to the charge sheet.