Roland Routh WINDHOEK – The case of fraud, alternatively theft, money laundering, forgery and uttering of a forged document, contravening the Organised Crime Act, obstructing or defeating the course of justice or attempting to do so and contravening the Value Added Tax Act, of Manga Nawa-Mukena, 37, her husband Joseph Mukena, 43, and a friend of theirs Celestino Gabriel Antonio, 37, is almost ready to go to trial, Windhoek High Court Judge Christi Liebenberg was informed yesterday. The only outstanding issues concern some questions in the pre-trial checklist which indicate which issues are in dispute and which are not. The judge had some reservations about the answers given by the defence on some of the questions asked by the State. Lawyers Orben Sibeya for Nawa-Mukena and her husband and Mbanga Siyomunji for Antonio asked the court to allow them time to submit supplementary affidavits addressing the issues in question and Judge Liebenberg remanded the matter to August 23. The Mukena couple face 85 counts of fraud alternatively theft, the wife alone 84 counts of forgery and uttering a forged document, all three accused a second count of forgery and uttering a forged document, the Mukenas one count of contravening the Prevention of Organised Crime Act, all three one count of money laundering, all three accused one count of obstructing or defeating the course of justice or attempting to do so, while Manga alone faces one count of contravening the Value Added Tax Act. The scheme ran from April 2013 to March 2017, according to the State. According to the indictment, the Mukenas were at all relevant and material times married in community of property and Antonio a close friend of the couple. Also, during the relevant times, Manga was employed by MultiChoice Namibia (MCN) as marketing manager responsible for the effective management of the marketing, advertising and promotional activities of the television services company. Being the sales and marketing manager, she was responsible for the placements of advertisements of MCN’s current and new product concepts in newspapers and other media establishments, as well as for approving and or submitting all supplier invoices to MCN for processing and payment, the indictment reads. It further states Manga had taken advantage of the situation and hatched a fraudulent scheme wherein she would draw up falsified supplier tax invoices reflecting the name of the Kundana weekly newspaper, published by New Era Publication Corporation, for advertisements purportedly placed in the weekly. She then supplied her own FNB account number on the falsified tax invoices and the amounts would be paid into that account, it is alleged. After the money was paid into her bank account, Manga would make transfers from that account to her other FNB bank accounts and to the bank accounts of her husband, and they would make withdrawals from various ATMs and or make electronic fund transfers from the bank accounts, it is further alleged. It is further stated in the indictment that the Mukenas would also make various purchases at various Point of Sale terminals both in Namibia and South Africa and would conduct cellphone banking transfers between themselves, their friends and relatives. It is further alleged that after the arrest of Manga, she and her husband approached Antonio in order to misrepresent to MCN that he owned a company called KundanaNam (Pty) Ltd which had rendered the marketing services in question and that all the payments were made to the said KundanaNam. Antonio then approached MCN and misrepresented to them that he is the owner of the unregistered company KundanaNam, and as the company did not own a bank account, he requested Manga to avail her personal bank account to him for the purpose of receiving payments for the services he rendered to MCN, it is alleged. It is further alleged that Manga would then withdraw money and hand the cash over to Antonio. The State alleges that MCN suffered a loss of N$2,088,071 as a result of the fraudulent and money laundering scheme perpetrated by the three accused. State Advocate Samson Kanyemba will prosecute. Manga and Antonio are free on bail while Mukena is free on a warning.
New Era Reporter
2018-07-20 09:37:09 6 months ago