WINDHOEK – The prosecutor general has asked for ample time in the matter of eight people accused of fraud and money laundering to the value of N$3.5 billion, setting the case to be heard in January 2020.
During court proceedings on Friday in Windhoek Magistrate’s Court before Magistrate Jorina Jagger, Advocate Salomon Kanyemba informed the court that there is a handful of documents that the prosecutor general needs to carefully study for her to come to a sound decision in the matter. Kanyemba emhpasised that the case at hand is no ordinary case and each document needs to be thoroughly studied, which will require time. The State sought for at least six months.
The prosecutor general is set to decide whether or not to prosecute the group and which charges they should be prosecuted on. Furthermore, when and where they will be tried.
The accused, Tao Huizhong, Julius Laurentius, Yuiqua Jack Huang, Zhihua Gua, Hongying Jia, Shuhua Cao, Dadi Li and Ying Zhang 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.
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 that there was an outflow of foreign currency from Namibia instigated by the Bank of Namibia last year. During the investigation, it was discovered that N$3.5 billion was shipped out of the country through Laurentius’ business Xtreme Customs Clearing Services, amongst others. Investigators unearthed that imports were under-declared at customs and over-declared at the bank, resulting in losses of billions of dollars to Namibia.
The evidence indicated that there was a huge difference in the amount presented at the bank for deposit and that 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.
All accused persons are currently on bail ranging between N$500 000 and N$1.5 million respectively.
South African defense counsel Advocate Barry Roux was representing Namibian accused Laurentius while local defense counsels Mbushandje Ntinda and Louis du Pisani were representing Huang and fellow nationals.
2019-07-08 08:52:31 | 9 months ago