Fifteen Angolans and two Namibians who face fraud charges involving N$140 million want bail.
The two Namibians allegedly connived with the Angolans to help them submit false tax refund claims.
The accused were denied bail when they made their first appearance in the Windhoek Magistrate’s Court last week. The defence lawyers and the State agreed that they would return to court on Wednesday for fixing a bail hearing date. On Wednesday it was agreed that the bail hearing would commence from December 16 to December 18.
The accused are Joshua Kaviyu Hidinwa, Mamsy Mweneni Hilma Nuuyoma (both Namibians), Lukau Nestor, Benvindo Momafuba, Pembele Zimutu, Paulo Kiala, Joaquim Pedro Espanhol, Joao Manuel dos Santos, Tatiana Luquena Muchadu Gonga, Carlos Victor Eliseu, Isaac Cativa Cupessala, Paquete Americo Kapayola Jose, Eugenio Pio do Amaral Gougel, Malakias Tomas Rufine, Paulino Manuel Natal, Carlos Felecoano Tchinduku and Miapa Aurelio Nelson.
Hidinwa, the first accused, alone faces a charge of conspiracy to commit fraud, while he and his co-accused face charges of fraud, forgery and uttering.
The Namiban reported that the suspects were arrested at the VAT office near the Deutsche Höhere Privatschule in Windhoek, while trying to claim tax refunds.
The arrests were a result of ongoing investigations at the request of the finance ministry into cases where VAT receipts were forged to claim refunds from the Receiver of Revenue, the newspaper further reported.
The State represented by Joseph Andreas last week objected to the accused being granted bail, saying that the investigations were at an early stage and feared that the accused may abscond if granted bail.
Preliminary investigations reveal the sum involved is N$140 million.
Orben Sibeya represented Hidinwa, Eliseu, Rufine and Nelson. Mbushandje Ntinda represented Nuuyoma. Titus Mbaeva represented Nestor and Kiala.
Vetu Uanivi represented Dos Santos, George Neves represented Gonga. Christian Nambahu represented Gougel, Ray Rukoro represented Jose, Natal and Tchinduku. The other accused were not represented.