Tax refund scam trial hits a snag … Namibian accused challenges ACC summons
WINDHOEK - The trial of two Namibians and 12 Angolans, accused of defrauding the government to the tune of N$210 million through false tax refunds on purchases exported from Namibia, hit a snag on Monday.
This is after one of the Namibian accused disputed summonses used to obtain his bank records.
Trevor Brockerhoff is now defending Noah Boykie Naukosho, 29, who previously represented himself in the ongoing trial before acting Windhoek High Court Judge Kobus Miller.
According to the defence, the summonses were issued under a wrong section of the Anti-Corruption Act and were issued before an investigation was initiated by ACC.
The state called ACC director-general Paulus Noa to explain the manner in which the summonses were issued. According to Noa, ACC received information detailing how unscrupulous Angolans, in collaboration with certain employees of a firm that managed the refunds of value added tax on purchases made by foreigners for exports, were milking the finance ministry dry with inflated and bogus VAT claims during October 2015.
He said after he studied the allegations, he initiated an investigation into the claims on 27 October 2017.
Noa added the disputed summonses were issued on 14 December 2015 and about two months after the investigation was started.
He was, however, vague when cross-examined whether or not the investigator who requested the summonses provided him with a sworn affidavit on why they needed the bank records of Naukosho and repeatedly said there must have been a good reason for it.
All the accused pleaded not guilty to 629 counts of fraud alternatively theft, money laundering and corruptly giving a document containing false information to an agent before Judge Miller and his two assessors John Mandy and Yolande Böttger at the start of their trial.
The amount involved in the massive value added tax fraud scam has more than doubled from the initial N$114 million to more than N$210 million, it emerged from the indictment document.
It is alleged that the accused were involved in the use of forged tax invoices, Vat claim forms and customs documentation to claim VAT refunds from the finance ministry.
One of the accused is Mamsy Mweneni Nuuyoma, 28, a Namibian citizen who worked at Aveshe Consultancy, the company managing VAT refunds on behalf of the ministry at the time the fraud was allegedly committed. She is facing 626 counts, including defeating or attempting to defeat the course of justice in addition to the other charges.
The other accused are Angolan nationals Benvindo Momafuba, Pembele Zimutu, Joaquim Pedro Espanhol, 35, Joao Manuel Dos Santos, 38, Tatiana Luquena Muchado Gonga, 28, Carlos Victor Elisea, 33, Isaac Cativa Cupessala, 43, Paquete Americo Kapayole Jose, Malakias Tomas Rufine, 29, Carlos Feleciano Tchinduku, Miapa Aurelio Nelson, 32, Lucio Jose Cazembe, 43.
2019-12-11 08:07:01 | 6 months ago