Fishrot accused Ricardo Gustavo's bail appeal denied

30 July 2020 | Justice

OGONE TLHAGE

WINDHOEK



Fishrot accused Ricardo Gustavo has been denied bail yet again after his appeal to the High Court was rejected.

In his second bail bid, Gustavo offered the State two of his properties as well as N$100 000 as bail.

This was shot down by High Court judge Kobus Miller.

The High Court upheld an earlier decision by the Windhoek Magistrate's Court to deny Gustavo bail. The High Court found that it would not be in the interest of the administration of justice to grant Gustavo bail.

The former Investec business manager initially applied for bail in May, citing his desire to clear his name. Gustavo had also argued that he wanted to take care of his family, saying that it would be in the interest of the public for him to be released on bail. At the time, Gustavo offered the State N$100 000 and one of his properties as bail. Gustavo is implicated in the Fishrot scandal in which N$75.6 million was allegedly paid from the National Fishing Corporation (Fishcor) into the accounts of companies belonging to his former boss at Investec James Hatuikulipi, former justice minister Sacky Shanghala, businessman Tamson Hatuikulipi and Hanganeni employee Pius Mwatelulo. All five are currently in prison awaiting trial together with former fisheries minister Bernhardt Esau.



Charges

Gustavo and his co-accused are charged with fraud, bribery, money laundering and conspiring to commit corruption.

They are accused of involvement in a scheme to benefit financially from the allocation of Namibian fishing quotas to the company Namgomar Pesca Namibia, of which Gustavo is the sole director.

Namgomar Pesca Namibia had a horse-mackerel fishing quota in Namibia and had a catching agreement with an Icelandic-owned company that allegedly paid more than N$103 million in kickbacks to Esau, Shanghala, James Hatuikulipi, Tamson Hatuikulipi and Gustavo, according to one of the charges against the five men.