WINDHOEK – Two Namibians and 16 Angolans accused of defrauding the Namibian government to the tune of N$210 million through false tax refunds on purchases exported from Namibia, are expected to plead to 512 counts of money laundering and corruptly giving a document containing false information to an agent in January next year.
They were also informed that their trial will, in all likelihood be allocated to Acting High Court Judge Kobus Miller by High Court Judge President and Deputy Chief Justice Petrus Damaseb during a pre-trial conference on Friday.
They will have to return to Court on July 16, for another pre-trial hearing and to sort out their legal aid arrangements. New Era was also reliably informed that three of the accused intend to plead guilty to the charges and this will be heard on July 16, in order to possibly separate their trial from the rest of the accused.
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. This 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 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 frauds were committed. She is facing 192 counts, including defeating or attempting to defeat the course of justice in addition to the other charges. The second accused is Kuakau Nestor, 56; an Angolan citizen who is charged with 34 counts amounting to N$3. 3 million.
The third accused is Angolan Citizen Benvindo Momafuba, 48, who is facing 42 charges amounting to N$3.4 million. The fourth accused is Pembele Zimutu, 52, an Angolan, facing 45 counts totaling N$22.7 million. Accused 5, Paulo Kiala, 48, Angolan, facing eight charges totaling N$1.4 million is on the run. Accused 6 is Joaquim Pedro Espanhol, 35, Angolan; facing 10 counts totaling N$947,399.90. Accused 7 is Joao Manuel Dos Santos, 38, Angolan, facing 125 counts amounting to N$172.5 million. Accused 8 is Tatiana Luquena Muchado Gonga, 27, Angolan, who is facing one count. Accused 9 is Carlos Victor Elisea, 33, Angolan, facing eight counts totaling N$2.9 million. Accused 10 is 43-year-old Angolan, Isaac Cativa Cupessala, facing 46 counts amounting to N$3.1 million. Accused 11 is Paquete Americo Kapayole Jose, Angolan; facing 14 counts totaling N$1.19 million. Accused 12 is Eugenio Pio Do Amaral Gourgel, 33, Angolan; facing 8 counts amounting to N$90,850.40. Malakias Tomas Rufine, 29, is accused 13 facing 18 counts amounting to N$2 million. Accused 14 is Paulino Manuel Natal, 32; facing 4 counts amounting to N$230,844. Accused 15 is Carlos Feleciano Tchinduku, 27, Angolan; facing 6 counts amounting to N$489,212.40. Accused 16 is Miapa Aurelio Nelson, 32, Angolan; facing 43 counts totaling N$4.4 million. Accused 17 is Lucio Jose Cazembe, 43, Angolan; facing 112 counts amounting to N$7 million. Accused 18 is Noah Boykie Naukosho, 28, Namibian facing 2 counts amounting to N$2.4 million.
Each accused will be prosecuted on certain accusations only, according to the charge sheet.
Kadhila Amoomo is representing Nuuyoma, Espanhol, Nelson and Cazembe, Hipura Ujaha acts for Nestor, Momafuba, and Zimutu and was on record for Kiala, who has absconded and Jorge Neves is on record for Gonga while Bradly Basson represents Gourgel and Naukosho. Dos Santos will represent himself, the same with Eliseu, Cupessala said he is represented by Petrus Elago, Jose and Natal indicated they want to apply for legal aid and Tchinduku said he will appoint a private lawyer.
All the accused except Nuuyoma, Nestor, Momafuba, Zimutu, Gonga, Cupessala, Gourgel, Cazembe and Naukosho are in custody.