Suspended Fishcor CEO Mike Nghipunya was yesterday joined by five other co-accused in the unfolding international fishing bribery scandal when he appeared in the Windhoek Magistrate’s Court for the first time.
Nghipunya is facing three charges, including fraud, contravening the Anti-Corruption Act and corruptly using office for gratification as well as money laundering. There were hugs and smiles when the five other co-accused, including former fisheries minister Bernhard Esau, ex-justice minister Sacky Shanghala, James Hatuikulipi, Tamson ‘Fitty’ Hatuikulipi and Pius ‘Taxa’ Mwatelulo entered the court. The five were recalled to appear yesterday as they were facing new charges, with regards to the alleged corruption at the State-owned fishing company Fishcor.
Initially, the five were charged with counts ranging from corruptly using office, to fraud and money laundering.
They are expected to make their scheduled appearance on these charges tomorrow. Nghipunya was also added and will appear with them.
He was remanded in custody. On the count of corruptly using office for gratification, the six are implicated in diverting a payment of N$75,6 million meant for Fishcor to Celax Investment Number one Pty (Ltd) and a law firm DHC Inc.
According to the charge sheet, the accused intended to distribute the said amount amongst themselves and/or entities of their own choice and for their benefit. Shanghala and James are also facing new charges of bribery and obstructing or defeating the course of justice.
All six accused will appear again on 23 April on the new charges.
Esau and his co-accused were arrested last year following reports that an Icelandic fishing company Samherji secured access to horse mackerel quotas in Namibia by allegedly paying bribes to politicians and businessmen between 2012 and 2018, according to the Fishrot Files of WikiLeaks.
2020-02-19 07:31:28 | 1 months ago