Fishrot suspect granted bail

WINDHOEK: The Windhoek High Court on Tuesday granted N.dollars 20 000 bail to one of the Fishrot suspects, Nigel van Wyk.

Van Wyk initially applied for bail along with his co-accused, former fisheries minister Bernhardt Esau. Presiding judge David Munsu at the same time dismissed Esau’s application for bail. Van Wyk, who was employed by former justice minister, Sakeus Shanghala, who is also an accused in the matter, was arrested for refusing to grant the police access to Shanghala’s farm. He has since been accused of having benefited in the alleged fishing corruption scandal.

The suspects, including former Investec Asset Management Managing Director, James Hatuikulipi; employee Ricardo Gustavo; Tamson Hatuikulipi; Pius Mwatelula; former Fishcor Chief Executive Officer, Mike Nghipunya; a former Deputy Director in the Otjozondjupa Regional Council, Otniel Shuudifonya; and former City Police Officer, Phillipus Mwapopi, stand accused of corruptly allocating fishing quotas in exchange for bribes.

The suspects h
ave been in custody since November 2019.

In an earlier court appearance, Anti-Corruption Commission (ACC) investigator Andreas Kanyangela testified that an income tax notice belonging to James Hatuikulipi indicated that he owed the finance ministry an amount of N.dollars 403 624 in 2014, N.dollars 4 951 266 in 2015, N.dollars 7 291 957 in 2016, N.dollars 4 236 000 and N.dollars 4 591 174 in 2028, totalling N.dollars 21 473 921.

Kanyangela also revealed that Shanghala owes the finance ministry amounts of N.dollars 2 101 223, between the period of 2014 to 2019.

A company belonging to Nghipunya and Shuudifonya, Wanyemba Investments Trust, is said to owe the finance ministry N.dollars 12 531 294 for the period of 2018 to 2020. Tuafika Logistics cc, a company belonging to Pius Mwatelulo, owes the finance ministry N.dollars 2 702 489, between the period of 2014 to 2018, Kanyagela told the court.

Shuudifonya owes the ministry N.dollars 674 234 in taxes, the court was informed.
Source: Namibia Press Agency (NAMPA