A group of businessmen who are accused of defrauding the Ministry of Finance of N$3.5 billion in revenue, await to hear their fate from the prosecutor general.
The PG is set to decide on whether or not the group should stand trial for the alleged offences, where they are to be tried and on which charges.
The group is expected to hear what the prosecution has decided when they return to Windhoek Magistrate’s Court on 22 February.
They are Namibian national Laurensius Julius, Chinese businessmen; Jack Huang, Tao Huizhong, Zhu Honggang, Zhihua Gua, Hongying Jia, Shuhua Cao, Dadi Li and Ying Zhang. Jinrong Huang, fled the country and died in China, according to media reports.
According to police and forensic accounting evidence presented during the accused’s 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 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 the government.
The evidence indicated there was a huge difference in the amount presented at the bank for deposit and one 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.