Tax refund fraud now at N$210 million

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Roland Routh

Windhoek-The amount involved in the massive value added tax fraud has more than doubled from the initial N$114 million detected to more than N$210 million. The new figures have emerged from the indictment document of the 18 people accused of defrauding the Ministry of Finance through false tax refunds on purchases exported from Namibia.
The trial has been allocated to Judge President Petrus Damaseb and the 18 accused made a scheduled pre-trial appearance before Damaseb on Monday. Absent was Paulo Kiala, who is on the run.

State Advocate Henry Muhongo, for the State, informed the judge that he will only be in a position to make discovery to the defence on April 30 as the docket is voluminous. The case has been postponed to May 24 to give time to those without legal representation to acquire it.

In the dock are 16 Angolans and two Namibians who face 512 counts of money laundering and corruptly giving a document containing false information to an agent.

It is alleged that the 18 peopled involved used forged tax invoices, VAT claim forms and customs documentation to claim VAT refunds from the Ministry of Finance. 

The accused are Mamsy Mweneni Nuuyoma, 27, a Namibian citizen who worked at Aveshe Consultancy, the company managing VAT refunds on behalf of the ministry at the time the fraud was committed, who is facing 192 counts including defeating or attempting to defeat the course of justice in addition to the other charges; Kuakau Nestor, 56, an Angolan citizen, charged with 34 counts amounting to N$3.3 million; Angolan citizen Benvindo Momafuba, 48, who faces 42 charges amounting to N$3.4 million; Pembele Zimutu, 52, Angolan, facing 45 counts totalling N$22.7 million; Kiala, who is on the run, 48, Angolan, facing eight charges totalling N$1.4 million; Joaquim Pedro Espanhol, 35, faces 10 counts totalling N$947,399.90; Joao Manuel Dos Santos, 38, faces 125 counts amounting to N$172.5 million; Tatiana Luquena Muchado Gonga, 27, one count; Carlos Victor Elisea, 33, Angolan, facing eight counts totalling N$2.9 million; the 43-year-old Angolan Isaac Cativa Cupessala faces 46 counts amounting to N$3.1 million; Paquete Americo Kapayole Jose, faces 14 counts totalling N$1.19 million; Eugenio Pio Do Amaral Gourgel, 33, faces 8 counts amounting to N$90,850.40; Malakias Tomas Rufine, 29, faces 18 counts amounting to N$2 million; Paulino Manuel Natal, 32, faces 4 counts amounting to N$230,844; Carlos Feleciano Tchinduku, 27, faces six counts amounting to N$489,212.40; Miapa Aurelio Nelson, 32, faces 43 counts totalling N$4.4 million; Lucio Jose Cazembe, 43, faces 112 counts amounting to N$7 million, while Noah Boykie Naukosho, 28, a Namibian, faces two counts amounting to N$2.4 million.

The lawyers for their defence are Khadila Amoomo, Hipura Ujaha, Jorge Neves, Bradly Basson and Petrus Elago. All the accused except Nuuyoma, Nestor, Momafuba, Zimutu, Gonga, Cupessala, Gourgel, Cazembe and Naukosho are in custody.

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