A large number of 21 properties belonging to the alleged perpetrators in the ‘fishrot’ fishing quota scandal has been attached by the Anti-Corruption Commission of Namibia (ACC), as the investigations into their bribery and money laundering charges gains momentum.
The Windhoek Observer is in possession of the summons signed by the ACC’s Director General, Paulus Noa and addressed to the Registrar of Deeds, Dana Beukes, in which four of the six accused in the fishrot bribery scandal stand to lose prime property.
The six include former Minister of Fisheries and Marine Resources Bernhard Esau and former Minister of Justice Sacky Shanghala, who was accused of corruption, fraud and tax evasion. The other suspects are Esau’s son-in-law Tamson Hatuikulipi, his cousin James Hatuikulipi, and businessmen Ricardo Gustavo and Pius Mwatelulo.
In the document, dated 5th December 2019, Tamson Hatuikilipi, who is the former fisheries minister, Bernard Esau’s son-in law, suffers the biggest blow with the listing of 12 of his properties attached. Five of the properties are in Ongwediva, four in various Windhoek neighbourhoods. He also has three properties in Swakopmund, Ondangwa and Eenhana all of which have also been attached.
Tamson’s cousin and co-accused James Hatuikulipi lost control of his Erf 214, located in Windhoek’s Academia suburb. This property is registered as a close corporation, with registration number cc/2015/06254 and company name A L Investment.
Esau did not escape the wrath of the ACC as four of his known properties appear to have been seized. These are: Farm Dakota number 35 which extends over, Erf 214 in Hochland Park, Windhoek, as well as one third of his undivided share in Erf 530 located in Mondesa, Swakopmund. This property, according to the documents stems from the estate of the late Susana Esau. Another property, listed as Erf 7025, which belongs to Esau was also attached.
The ACC also attached Erf 229 of Finkenstein Farm no. 526 of portion 4, which belongs to, Ricardo Jorge Gustavo.
If found guilty, the former Investec Asset Management Client Manager also stands to lose his half ownership share in Erf 983, Hochland Park, Windhoek. Also attached are Gustavo’s 50 percent share in both portion 229 of the farm Finkenstein Estate, and another portion of land with the transfer number T7779/2018.
Both Shanghala and Mwatelulo appear to have currently escaped this first round of property seizures, according to the documents in this newspaper’s possession.
The document was issued in terms of section 21 (5) read with section 26 (1)(C ) of the Anti-Corruption Act 2003.
The document, amongst others, requested the registrar of deeds to divulge more information and documentation in his control pertaining to the confirmation of the lodgement of registration of Deed of Transfer no 0668/2018 and 06692018 pertaining to sectional title units 1 to 12 on Erf 2788 in Swakopmund.
The said information, according to the document, are required in the ongoing investigation by the ACC into alleged offences committed by amongst others Esau, Shangala, the Hatuikulipi cousins, Mwatetulo and Gustavo, in particular, conspiring to commit corrupt practices as contemplated in Chapter 4 of the Anti-Corruption Act 2003.
“During the investigation, evidence assembled also suggest that provisions of Chapter 3 of the Prevention of Organised Crime Act, 2004 have been contravened and that money laundering or disguising unlawful origin of property have taken place and fraud have been committed,” Noa wrote to the registrar of deeds.
The six accused were refused bail and remain in custody pending their next court appearance on the 20th February 2020.