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Sharing the Fishrot cake 

2022-02-02  Roland Routh

Sharing the Fishrot cake 

Roland Routh

Millions of dollars flowed to the pockets of the accused in the Fishrot matter while no legal business was conducted between the entities involved in the vast network of businesses fingered in the scam, according to court documents. 

Former chief executive officer of the National Fishing Corporation of Namibia, Mike Nghipunya, told the operations manager of Low-Key Investments, one of the fishing enterprises that Fishcor quotas were sold to, “this is how business is done in the country” when he questioned the payments to third parties for quotas meant for governmental objectives.

In a disputed statement by Jose Louis Fernandez Perez, which was provisionally handed to court, Perez was adamant that he thought he was buying the quotas legally and that the proceeds were to be used for the alleviation of poverty of Namibian citizens and other governmental objectives. 

However, he said, he later came to realise that was not the case, but at that stage, he had already invested so much in Namibia and in the fisheries sector and decided to comply. He further said he was made to believe that he received the quotas because of his investment in the local economy and for providing jobs. 

In December 2016, he received a hake freezer quota of 1 500 metric tons, followed by a 3 000 metric ton quota on 11 December 2017. He further received a 1 000 metric ton quota on 26 February 2019 and a further 2 000 tons on 23 April 2019 and again 1 000 tons on 25 April 2019. 

According to him, Nghipunya sent him two invoices during 2017 and 2018 through Wanakadu Investments for N$8.7 million and N$6.05 million respectively for vessel repairs and maintenance services that was never rendered. 

He further received an invoice from Wanakadu in February 2018 for N$3.8 million for consultancy fees. He further said that Nghipunya further sent him invoices through Ndjako Investments, which Otneel Shudifonya hand-delivered totalling at least N$19.1 million. 

On 29 January 2018, an invoice was sent for vessel repairs and maintenance services in the amount of N$3.88 million and again in 2018 an invoice of N$3.45 million for vessel fees. Also in 2018, an invoice was sent for N$862 500 for consulting fees and during January 2019, an invoice for consulting fees for January to June 2019 for an amount of N$2.875 million and again in June 2019 for consultancy fees for July to December 2019 for an amount of N$2.875 million. 

Low-Key was also invoiced for N$5.75 million for vessel repairs and management. All of these invoices were paid, but Perez was adamant that no such services were provided.

The Anti-Corruption Commission’s chief investigator Andreas Kanyangela further provided information on how the money received from Low-Key was distributed among the Fishrot accused. According to him, from the money Wanakadu received from Low-Key, N$9.9 million went to Ndjako Investments, N$2.3 million to JTH Trading of Tamson Hatuikulipi, N$1.9 million to Gwanyemba Trust of Nghipunya, N$230 000 to Fine Seafood Trust of Shuudifonya, N$4.7 million to Otuafika Logistics of Pius Mwatelulo, N$500 000 to Greyguard Investments of James Hatuikulipi and N$180 000 to Shuudifonya personally. No legal business was conducted between these entities. 

He further said that from the money paid to Wanakadu Investments, N$2.7 million went to JTH Trading, N$2.3 million to Erongo Clearing and Forwarding of Tamson and N$1 million to Greyguard Investments.

Personal benefits for the Fishrot accused amounted to more than N$82 million for James, N$5.4 million to Berhard Esau, Tamson amassed N$57 million, Sackey Shanghala accumulated N$27.7 million. Ricardo Gustavo, who is currently on bail received N$21.1 million, Mwatelulo received N$13.1 million, Nghipunya got N$43.8 million, Nigel van Wyk got N$1.9 million, Shuudifonya received N$21.3 million and Phillipus Mwapopi amassed a total of N$6.2 million while Marèn de Klerk scored N$13.9 million.  

Caption: (Fishrot) Split… Court documents have shown how the Fishrot cake was shared.

Photo: Emmency Nuukala


(In a table/graph)

Fishrot benefits 

James Hatuikulipi - N$82 million 

Tamson Katuikulipi - N$57 million 

Mike Nghipunya - N$43.8 million 

Sackey Shanghala - N$27.7 million

Otneel Shuudifonya - N$21.3 million

Ricardo Gustavo -N$21.1 million

Marèn de Klerk - N$13.9 million         

Pius Mwatelulo - N$13.1 million

Phillipus Mwapopi - N$6.2 million 

Berhard Esau - N$5.4 million 

 Nigel van Wyk - N$1.9 million 

2022-02-02  Roland Routh

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