• August 5th, 2020

PG undecided on seized airport millions

Maria Amakali

The prosecutor general has yet to pronounce herself in the case of three Angolan women who were caught at Hosea Kutako International Airport (HKIA) with more than N$2.2 million in foreign currencies.
The accused, Maria Combua (46), Helena Samba Pintal (35) and Beatriz Antunes (47) were informed of such when they made their appearance before magistrate Alice Gawanas in the Katutura Magistrate’s Court. 
Prosecutor Edel Upindi informed the court yesterday that the matter is still on the roll for the PG’s decision and such ruling is unavailable, thus, the court should postpone the matter. 
The PG is set to decide whether to prosecute, on which charges and where to prosecute the three accused. Magistrate Gawanas gave a final remand for the prosecutor general’s decision, postponing the matter to 12 September.
Combua and her co-accused are in police custody since their arrest in December 2019 at HKIA, after being found in possession of large sums of unexplained money.  
The prosecution is charging the group with two charges of unlawful export of currency and disguising the unlawful origin of the property respectively.
The group was allegedly found in possession of US$150 190 (N$2 162 736), € 6250 (N$1 001 11.05) and N$4 083. In total, the accused were found with N$2 262 847.05.
During the group’s failed bail application, the investigating officer, Detective Sergeant Erwin Serogwe, said the accused failed to declare the amount of money in their possession, which the police believe is from illegal activities.
Serogwe said the accused almost got away if it was not for Combua who triggered the scanners with her metal hair clipper. 
This prompted immigration officers to conduct a thorough search to determine what had caused the scanners to go off. That is when they discovered the money. Pintal and Antunes got caught when they went searching for Combua.
The group hid the money in their brassieres, disposable diapers (that they were wearing), in between shoe soles and waistbands. More money was found in the accused’s handbags hidden in their luggage.
In their defence, the accused claimed the money is from their different businesses and they had the money as they were on their way to China to buy merchandise for their businesses in Angola.
-  mamakali@nepc.com.na

Maria Amakali
2020-07-17 10:01:19 | 19 days ago

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