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N$3.5 billion fraud accused withdraws suit

2022-09-27  Maria Amakali

N$3.5 billion fraud accused withdraws suit

One of the businessmen, accused of defrauding the government of N$3.5 billion in taxes, has withdrawn his application in which he wanted the High Court to compel the prosecutor general from proceeding to prosecute him on charges of fraud and money laundering.

Businessman Laurensius Julius has, however, not filed reasons why he decided to not proceed with his application against the prosecutor general.

Julius, who is based in Walvis Bay-based and solely owns Extreme Customs Clearing Services (XCCS), approached the high court to have the prosecutor general’s decision to charge him with fraud and money laundering reviewed and set aside. 

In his affidavit, he is claiming the prosecutor general took the decision without any evidence to support it. 

Furthermore, the prosecution decided to charge him in his personal capacity when it is the activities of Extreme Customs Clearing Services that are of concern. 

He says the prosecution was supposed to charge him in his capacity as the director of the company.

Deputy prosecutor general Ed Marondedze, in an answering affidavit, said the prosecutor general’s decision cannot be reviewed. 

He said Julius’ argument constitutes his defence to the charges he is currently facing. 

Julius, alongside Chinese businessman Jack Huang and several co-accused Chinese nationals, were arrested in 2017 for allegedly having a hand in the N$3.5 billion loss, incurred by the Ministry of Finance between 2010 and 2016.

One of the accused, Jinrong Huang, fled the country and died in China, according to media reports. 

The other accused are Tao Huizhong, Zhu Honggang, Zhihua Gua, Hongying Jia, Shuhua Cao, Dadi Li and Ying Zhang.

According to police and forensic accounting evidence presented during the accused formal bail hearing, the ministry suffered losses of the substantial amount in question as a result of the under-declaration of the value of goods imported into Namibia and on which customs duties were supposed to be paid. 

The investigations revealed there was an outflow of foreign currency from Namibia, investigated by the Bank of Namibia. 

During the investigation, it was discovered that N$3.5 billion was shipped out of the country through Julius’ business Extreme Customs Clearing Services, amongst others. 

Investigators unearthed those imports were under-declared at customs and over-declared at the bank, resulting in losses of billions of dollars to Namibia.

The evidence indicated there was a huge difference in the amount presented at the bank for deposit and what was presented at customs for clearance. 

The amount allegedly paid to foreign beneficiaries does not correlate to the amount on the invoices. 

The substantial amount is said to have been remitted to offshore accounts through a local bank.

The accused are currently charged with counts of tax evasion, fraud and money laundering.

All accused persons are currently on bail, ranging between N$500 000 and N$1.5 million, respectively.

The criminal matter is currently before the high court.


2022-09-27  Maria Amakali

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