Josea denies any dealings with Avid

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Maria Amakali

Windhoek-The 12-year ongoing massive fraud case in which N$30 million from the Social Security Commission (SSC) disappeared through dubious means is far from over, as one of the seven accused denied knowing the existence of Avid Investment Corporation.

Nico Josea took the stand for the second time yesterday in the Windhoek High Court, where he informed the court that at the time he had no knowledge of the existence, or the physical address, of Avid Investment Corporation and that he only came to know about the existence of the company when he appeared in court.

Josea, who is the sole shareholder of Namangol, did not deny that N$29.5 million was transferred to his company by the late Lazarus Kandara, who was the CEO of Avid investment at the time. Kandara, who seemed to be the kingpin in the case, committed suicide in 2008.

“I never had business dealings with Avid Investment nor did I receive money from accused 1 to 6,” explained Josea. He further said he only dealt directly with Kandara.
Between September and October 2004 Kandara approached him with the idea he had money to invest, Josea testified in court.

“I did not invest money on behalf of Avid,” said Josea. Josea disputed the money he got from Kandara was for investment purposes even though he placed the money into the company’s trust account and not into the company’s direct account.

Josea said it never crossed his mind the N$29.5 million transferred did not belong to Kandara because the late had earlier invested N$10 million. Josea said he could not explain how the money was used or how it disappeared after Kandara had called up the investment a few months later.

In January 2005, the SSC invested N$30 million in Avid Investment, money which was later channelled to Namangol Investments. Avid Investment was supposed to pay back the substantial amount with interest after four months but it later failed to do so. Without its money, SSC approached the High Court in July 2005 to have Avid Investment liquidated.

Josea and his co-accused – retired brigadier-general Mathias Shiweda, Paulus Kapia, Ralph Blaauw, Sharon Blaauw, Inez /Gases and Otniel Podewiltz – were arrested in April 2008 and have since been appearing in court on charges of fraud, alternatively theft, and a charge of reckless or fraudulent conduct of business, which is a contravention of the Companies Act.

The whereabouts of the N$30 million invested by the SSC twelve years ago are yet to be determined as the court tries to find answers to the disappearance of the money. More is to be revealed as the court returns today.

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