Still no date for bail hearing for Angolans

By Roland Routh

Still no date for bail hearing for Angolans

Windhoek

The Windhoek Magistrate’s Court has still not set a date for the formal bail hearing of eight of the Angolans accused of defrauding the Ministry of Finance of N$114 million.The Angolans allegedly swindled at least N$114 million from the Ministry of Finance’s VAT Division. The group originally consisted of 15 Angolans and two Namibians, whose names are Joshua Kaviyu Hidinwa and Mamsy Mweneni Hilma Nuuyoma.  The two Namibians have been granted bail as well as seven of the Angolans.
The eight currently in custody waiting for a formal bail hearing are Joachim Pedro Espanhol (Accused 7); Joao Manuel dos Santos (Accused 8); Carlos Victor Eliseu (Accused 10); Paquete Americo Kapayola Jose (Accused 12); Malakias Tomas Rufine (Accused 14); Paulino Manuel Natal (Accused 15); Carlos Feliciano Tchinduku (Accused 16) and Miapa Aurelio Nelson (Accused 17).
Magistrate Ilge Rheent postponed the matter to Monday next week to the bitter resentment of the Angolans who complained bitterly about the conditions in the holding cells and that their families are struggling without them. They also said that some of them are missing out on important school assignments.
But, Rheent said, there was nothing she could do about it as the control magistrate who must assign a presiding officer was not available and a magistrate would only be assigned to the bail hearing on Monday next week and will then determine hearing dates.
The seven Angolans out on bail are Lukau Nestor (Accused 3); Benvindo Momafuba (Accused 4); Pembele Zimutu (Accused 5); Paulo Kiala (Accused 6); Tatiana Luquena Muchadu Gonga (Accused 9); Isaac Cativa Cupessala (Accused 11), and Eugenio Pio Do Amaral Gourgel (Accused 13).
The two Namibians are listed as accused one and two, respectively.
Each of the 17 accused faces a charge of fraud, forgery and altering an official document. These charges are being dealt with by the court under the provisions of the Anti-Corruption Act of 2006.
The accused were all arrested by investigators attached to the Anti-Corruption Commission (ACC) in December last year in Windhoek.
Some of the accused were arrested at the Ministry of Finance’s VAT office in Ausspannplatz, Windhoek, while reportedly trying to claim tax refunds. According to reports a tax refund agent who collaborated with the ACC called the Angolans to come and collect their cheques at the VAT office and this resulted in their arrest.
Reports further indicate the arrests were a result of ongoing investigations at the request of the Ministry of Finance into cases where VAT receipts were forged in order to claim refunds from the Receiver of Revenue.
ACC launched investigations into their activities this year.



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