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New Era Newspaper Wednesday August 2, 2017

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New Era Newspaper Wednesday August 2,

ol. 22 No. 249 Windhoek, Namibia Wednesday August 2 2017 N,5 billion customs fraud suspect dies Maria Amakali Windhoek One of the eight people accused of fraud and moneylaundering amounting to a staggering N.5 billion is said to have died. According to the investigating officer in the case, the police have received a death certificate for Honggang Zhu, the fourth accused person in the fraud case. The authenticity of the death certificate, which is written in Chinese, is yet to be confirmed. Honggang alongside countrymen Tao Huizhong, Jinrong Huang, Yuiqua Huang, newly added Shushua Inside Today Shaningwa bemoans high house prices Urban and Rural Development Minister Sophia Shaningwa says contractors cannot keep on raking in millions of dollars in profits at the expense of the urban poor by inflating housing prices, as basic housing appears to have become a luxury commodity for many urban dwellers. Page 3 Namibian economy stronger today than a year ago - Geingob T h e u n d e r p i n n i n g fundamentals of the Namibian economy are stronger today than they were a year ago. President Hage Geingob said this during a media briefing yesterday, where he noted that the domestic economy has passed through the brunt of the economic downturn and is now on a recovery path. Page 11 Cao, Hongying, Zhihua Gua and Namibian national Julius Laurentius, are said to have to been involved in the customs fraud case involving some N,5 billion, that was lost by the Ministry of Finance between 2010 and December last year, according to the prosecution. Police and forensic auditing investigations indicated that the Finance Ministry suffered the substantial loss of the amount in question as a result of the under-declaration of the value of goods imported into Namibia, on which customs duties were supposed to be paid. Investigations have revealed that there was Maria Amakali Windhoek Two Chinese nationals on trial in the Windhoek Magistrate’s Court for their involvement in wildlife crimes have admitted guilt. Xinxi Xue, 48, and Ruhe Zhang, 61, told the court through an interpreter yesterday that they were indeed guilty of the charges brought against them. The prosecution accused the two of dealing in controlled wildlife products without a permit and of unlawfully exporting controlled wildlife products without a permit, read with the provisions of the Controlled Wildlife Product and Trade Act of 2000. “I admit that I was found a huge difference in the amounts presented at the bank for deposit and that presented at customs for clearance. The suspects allegedly represented the same invoices repeatedly at the bank and at customs, with large differences in the amounts presented at the bank for deposit. It was later discovered that the money had been remitted through Nedbank to offshore accounts and foreign beneficiaries. T h e N $ 3 , 5 b i l l i o n allegedly flowed out of Namibia through more than 1,600 transactions done on behalf of more than 100 companies. FRAUD on page 2 Photo: Nampa Self-confessed smugglers… Ruhe Zhang and Xinxi Xue. Ivory smugglers confess in possession of the controlled wildlife products without a permit. I further admit that I committed the offence and I take full responsibility for my actions,” Xinxi said in his written plea explanation. The charges pertain to an incident on December 7, 2016 when the police found 12 pieces of ivory and sealskin among their belongings. The elephant tusks had been cut into pieces and concealed in instant coffee tins. Xinxi and his co-accused were arrested at a roadblock near Kapps Farm while on their way to Hosea Kutako International Airport. They were on working visas and were employed by a local construction company at the time. SMUGGLERS on page 2 Swartbooi not the first to be recalled – VP Albertina Nakale Windhoek Vice-President Nickey Iyambo this week said the ruling party Swapo is consistent in recalling officials that step out of line and that former lands deputy minister Bernadus Swartbooi was not the first to be recalled. The vice-president cited former youth and sports minister Kazenambo Kazenambo as an example of officials previously recalled. Former president Hifikepunye Pohamba elected not to retain Kazenambo as his minister, after a series of controversial public statements and emotive outbursts. Kazenambo remains a member of the Swapo politburo and central committee. Albertina Nakale Windhoek SWARTBOOI on page 2 ACC still investigating reinstated Mwoombola Anti-Corruption Commission (ACC) director general Paulus Noa yesterday confirmed that the agency is still investigating the permanent secretary in the Ministry of Health, Dr Andreas Mwoombola, who was reinstated in his position after a threeweek suspension. In a statement issued yesterday, Secretary to Cabinet George Simataa said the investigation into the allegations – the details of which are as yet undisclosed – had been completed and that Mwoombola resumed work yesterday. Confidénte reported recently that the ACC had launched an investigation into the matter, wherein it alleged that Mwoombola had awarded N0 million worth of tenders to companies linked to him and other officials in the ministry. Dr Andreas Mwoombola President Hage Geingob It was further reported that the ACC subsequently confiscated work computers and piles of records as part of the investigation. In this regard, Noa told New Era yesterday that the ACC is investigating a l l e g a t i o n s o f criminality, including irregularities in the awarding of tenders. Noa said although Mwoombola has been reinstated, their investigations continue. He said they are currently busy with criminal investigations implicating a number of Ministry of Health officials, including Mwoombola, and these investigation have not yet been completed. “Remember, the suspension did not have anything to do with the ACC. It was their own suspension. We don’t suspend people. So, if they suspended him and are busy doing internal investigations that’s fine.” MWOOMBOLA on page 2 New Era Newspaper @NewEraNewspaper #NewEraNewspaper • •

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