WINDHOEK - Windhoek High Court Judge Dinnah Usiku yesterday reserved her judgement on the charge of money laundering that accused Charles Winston Manale, 35, pleaded not guilty to, to February 12 next year.
Manale pleaded guilty to 147 counts of fraud, but pleaded not guilty to the charge of money laundering.
His lawyer Jan Wessels and state Advocate Constance Moyo accepted the guilty pleas and informed the judge she will proceed to prove the money laundering charge. She argued that all the essential elements of the crime of money laundering have been satisfied as the conduct of Manale in the acquisition, in the use, and the possession of the proceeds which he knew at the time and at any time thereafter to have been the proceeds of his unlawful conduct, which in this case was the fraudulent conduct he has admitted.
She said that Manale has not denied that in essence he acquired, possessed and used the money from his fraudulent conduct. “What he seems to suggest is that he stands to suffer prejudice due to a duplication of convictions which is likely to occur if he is convicted on the charge of money laundering as well as the predicate offence of fraud which he admitted,” Moyo said.
She went to say that reading from the Prevention of Organised Crime Amendment (POCA) Act which defines the offence of money laundering, it is clear that the offence is premised on the existence of an underlying offence.
“There can therefore never be an offence of money laundering where there is no property or money or benefit derived from conduct which in itself is deemed to be unlawful,” she said, and continued: “Once conduct either by the accused himself or anyone else has been deemed to be unlawful and the accused engages in conduct connected to the proceeds of such conduct, then the accused falls within the type of conduct proscribed by the Act, and he makes himself guilty of money laundering.”
Moyo submitted that Manale did in fact committed the crime of money laundering as a separate offence and will not be prejudiced if convicted as such.
Wessels argued that if his client is convicted on the charge of money laundering, he will be convicted twice for the same offence.
According to a plea explanation read by Wessels on behalf of Manale, he tendered the plea freely and voluntarily and that he is fully aware of the consequences of the plea, namely that he can be convicted on the charges he pleaded guilty to.
Manale, though, said he was advised by Wessels that the charge of money laundering amounts to a duplication of charges that’s why he denies guilt on it. According to the plea, Manale admits that he hatched a plan from January 2011 to defraud the Estate Accounts of Standard Bank where he was employed as a Senior Estate and Trust Officer responsible for the supervision of the Estate and Trust Officers whose duties were to receive requests for payment from beneficiaries and after verification load such requests onto the system for approval payment by him. “From January 2011, I hatched a plan to defraud the Estate Accounts through a manipulation of the requests and payment system by making phony requests from the implicated Estate Accounts and then authorising payment of the proceeds into one Kauko Daniel Nehale’s Standard Bank account until August 2013,” he said and continued: “After the death of Nehale and during the period from September 2013 up to December 2015, the transfer payments were made directly into my personal bank account held at First National Bank.”
He further said that in facilitating such payments, he then and there gave out and pretends that such payments had been legitimate requests for payments by the intended beneficiaries yet in actual fact the payments had not been requested by the legitimate beneficiaries.
He accordingly misappropriated N$5 055 563.15 through his misrepresentations which constitute the offence of fraud, Manale admitted.
The judge extended Manale’s warning.
2018-10-24 09:07:10 9 months ago