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N$3.5bn fraud accused at large

2022-07-05  Maria Amakali

N$3.5bn fraud accused at large
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The Windhoek Magistrate’s Court has extended the warrant of arrest issued against two suspects, who form part of the group of businessmen, women and multiple business entities they own for allegedly defrauding the Ministry of Finance of N$3.5 billion in revenue.

State prosecutor Rowan van Wyk informed the court yesterday that Huang Jinrong and Shuhua Cao were not present once more. 

Thus, magistrate Esme Molefe Siswaniso ordered for the warrant of arrest against Jinrong to be extended and that of Cao to be executed on 29 November. The case was on the roll for it to be transferred to the High Court, where the accused are expected to stand trial. 

Jinrong and Cao, alongside co-accused Namibian national Laurensius Julius as well as Chinese businessmen Jack Huang, Tao Huizhong, Zhu Honggang, Zhihua Gua, Hongying Jia, Dadi Li and Ying Zhang are facing more than 245 counts of fraud, theft, tax evasion and money laundering.

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

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, 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 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 represented by Slysken Makando, Mbushandje Ntinda and Louis Du Pisani. 

The case has been postponed to 29 November for the State to locate the missing accused persons. 

- mamakali@nepc.com.na


2022-07-05  Maria Amakali

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