Bail for 7 in tax-fraud case

11 January 2017 | Justice

Magistrate Rhivermo Williams has granted bail to seven of the 13 people involved in fraud at the Inland Revenue Department in Walvis Bay.

They were granted bail of N$10 000 each.

Six of the accused - Henry Visagie, Jacqueline Imbili, Leonardo Roselli, Michael Mclobo, Jeanette Garoes and Anna Marie Mutilifa - were told they might make formal bail applications at a later stage.

The case was postponed to 21 February for further investigation.

The accused allegedly defrauded the Ministry of Finance of more than N$2 million between 1 April 2013 and November 2016.

Three of the accused, who were employed at the Inland Revenue Department, allegedly forged Pay As You Earn (PAYE5) certificates using the names of 21 friends and relatives. They then processed tax refunds in these people's names.

State prosecutor Tuihaleni Hilikuete apposed bail for six of the accused and said they were close friends of the State witnesses.

She also informed Magistrate Williams that Garoes and Mutilifa had already attempted to interfere with the investigation.

“They will interfere with the investigation and other witnesses. They should also not be granted bail due to the strong public interest,” she argued.

Morne Feris, Willemina Visagie, Quinton Mathews, Marlon Pins, Velancio Muller, Patrick Titus and Lukas Shailemo were granted bail and were told not to interfere directly or indirectly with the investigation should they manage to post bail.

Willemina, who is the wife of taxation officer Henry Visagie, was instructed not to access her husband's bank accounts while out on bail.

Shailemo must report twice a week at the Rosh Pinah police station.

Muller told the court he was unemployed and could not afford N$10 000 bail. He requested a reduction to N$6 000 but Magistrate Williams refused his request due to the seriousness of the offence.

Three of the accused are represented by Liesl Heyman, with Wouter Rossouw representing Leonardo Roselli, who is an Italian national. Rossouw told the court that his client needed an interpreter and said he was unable to communicate properly with him.


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