The Office of the Prosecutor General has confiscated more than N$50 million in suspected proceeds of crime under the Prevention of Organised Crime Act (POCA), the Windhoek Observer has established.
Investigations by the Windhoek Observer revealed that the Asset Recovery Account with Standard Bank now has over N$50, 2 million in confiscated funds.
This includes N$22 million confiscated from three Namibians and 16 Angolan nationals, who were arrested in December 2015 in connection with an alleged value-added tax (VAT) refund scam that is said to have deprived Government of more than N$100 million in unpaid taxes.
Part of the money includes N$3, 5 million that former Namibian Defence Force Chief Martin Shalli (Retired) kept in a Standard Chartered Bank in Lusaka, Zambia that was forfeited to the State in October 2014.
In addition to the N$50 million in the recovery account, there are 11 cars and a property worth more than N$2 million (at the time of forfeiture) that awaits auction.
The house, confiscated under POCA, belongs to former Namdeb employee, Kondjeni Kanime, who had his house at Oshakati West seized by the Government in January 2016.
The property was confiscated after Kanime failed to provide proof of how and where he got the money to build the luxurious house.
Prosecutor General, Martha Imalwa, confirmed the existence of the millions in the Standard Bank account.
“Maybe the money has increased now, but what I know is that the Asset Recovery Account has a balance that is more than N$50 million and properties that need to be sold so that the money can be deposited in the same bank account.”
Imalwa said that in terms of the law, the money obtained through POCA is invested in training law enforcement agencies and is also used to assist witnesses or victims of crimes.
“It is not the primary motive of our office to utilise this account. However, where we feel that a crime witness or victim has suffered a loss, we request the court to order that such victims be fairly compensated.
“We have done that previously. We compensated Pupkewitz when one of the managers defrauded the company. That person’s pension was paid to Pupkewitz and an erf which he had purchased with the stolen funds, was also given to Pupkewitz,” Imalwa explained.
This week, Deputy Judge President Hosea Angula set aside a preservation of property order granted on May 26 this year against Atlantic Ocean Management (Pty) Ltd for alleged money laundering and illegal fishing in Namibian waters.
The Spanish fishing company had lodged an urgent application in June to prevent the PG from obtaining a second preservation order for about N$11,4 million held in the company’s Bank Windhoek account in Walvis Bay.