Cops nab Fishcor's Nghipunya

18 February 2020 | Crime

Fishcor CEO Mike Nghipunya is being questioned in connection with the Fishrot bribery saga.

Police spokesperson Deputy Commissioner Kauna Shikwambi confirmed Nghipunya's arrest yesterday.

Anti-Corruption Commission (ACC) director-general Paulus Noa said Nghipunya had been brought in for questioning by the police, but would not confirm whether he would be charged.

“Yes he was called in for questioning,” Noa said.

Nghipunya was placed on suspension in December after it came to light that he had allegedly used his office as leader of the state-owned fishing company to allocate fishing rights in exchange for money. He is the 10th person arrested in connection with the Fishrot bribery scandal.

The main accused in the matter are James Hatuikulipi, who was forced to step down from his position as Fishcor board chairperson, his cousin Tamson, former justice minister Sacky Shanghala, former fisheries minister Bernhardt Esau, suspended Investec employee Ricardo Gustavo and Hanganeni employee Pius Mwatelulo. Others arrested are hangers-on of the main accused. They face separate charges.

During the filming of an Al Jazeera documentary titled 'Anatomy of a Bribe', Nghipunya was secretly recorded promising journalists posing as investors access to fishing quotas, using Fishcor as a vehicle.





Esau had stripped several private companies of fishing quotas and handed them to Fishcor, which is now at the centre of allegations that it passed on huge allocations of its quotas to Icelandic company Samherji, which paid the company's officials and local politicians handsome kickbacks in return.

Some of the companies that lost their quota allocations ended up retrenching employees as a result.

Al Jazeera journalists spent three months undercover posing as foreign investors looking to exploit the lucrative Namibian fishing industry. Nghipunya was one of the officials the undercover journalists held private meetings with.



Hands in the cookie jar

Nghipunya promised to give fishing quotas to a supposed investor identified as Johnny in the Al Jazeera documentary that aired in early December last year.

“For as long as I am Fishcor CEO, for the next five years, you will get quotas from me,” Nghipunya said in the footage.

When news of the Fishrot scandal broke in November, Nghipunya told Namibian Sun he had never received a bribe.

“I do not even know why they listed my name because I never received a bribe,” he said at the time.

Walvis Bay lawyer Sacky Kadhila Amoomo, who was described as a “dealmaker” in the documentary, was shown assuring the purported investor: “He [Nghipunya] will make sure you get the quota and it is in his interest, because by virtue of having a 20% [stake] he has interest in the operation.”

Nghipunya further encouraged the 'investor' that the money would be channelled through Amoomo to him using a company owned by the lawyer as a front, to hide the link between the investor and Nghipunya.

“What we are trying to do is to make sure that the whole deal is with Sacky. Then it becomes independent, that I am just there to support you with your quota,” Nghipunya is seen as saying.



Fishrot-linked arrests

In December, Nigel Van Wyk, a close associate of Shanghala was arrested for attempting to obstruct the course of justice when it was discovered that he tried to remove material pertaining to the Fishrot case from a residence owned by Shanghala.

Jason Iyambo and police reservist Sakaria Kokule were also arrested in January in connection with the Fishrot saga after they allegedly tried to bribe an ACC investigator to release bank cards of two the main accused. All the Fishrot accused are set to appear on 20 February in the Windhoek Magistrate's Court, with the so-called Fishrot Six's case separated from the other two cases involving the so-called hangers-on.

OGONE TLHAGE

Similar News

 

Ndeitunga moves to limit lockdown arrests

1 day - 31 March 2020 | Crime

JEMIMA BEUKES WINDHOEKPolice chief Sebastian Ndeitunga has urged his officers to rather issue spot fines or release offenders with warnings, as the possibility of overflowing...

Church bell stolen

1 day - 31 March 2020 | Crime

ELLANIE SMIT WINDHOEKThieves paid little attention to the teachings of the Bible when they stole a church bell valued at N$100 000 this past weekend....

Teacher arrested for defying alcohol sales ban

2 days ago - 30 March 2020 | Crime

ILENI NANDJATOOSHAKATIPolice in the north have arrested five people who refused to close their informal businesses.One of them is a teacher who owns a shebeen...

16 arrested for wildlife crimes

2 days ago - 30 March 2020 | Crime

ELLANIE SMITWINDHOEKSixteen suspects have been arrested in recent days in connection with wildlife crimes and six new cases were registered.According to police statistics ten wildlife...

Girl repeatedly raped by uncle

1 week ago - 24 March 2020 | Crime

ELLANIE SMIT WINDHOEKA 14-year-old girl from the Ondiyala location in the Ondangwa Region has been raped by her uncle since last September. According to the...

Five men commit suicide

1 week ago - 23 March 2020 | Crime

ILENI NANDJATOOSHAKATITwo businessmen and a school principal are among the five people who committed suicide in the Ohangwena Region this month. Three of the deceased...

Namibian caught with 611 pangolin scales

1 week ago - 19 March 2020 | Crime

ELLANIE SMIT A Namibian man was arrested last week at Rundu for being in possession of 611 pangolin scales, five pieces...

11-year-old raped

2 weeks ago - 18 March 2020 | Crime

An 11-year-old girl was raped on her way from school on Friday at Okapya village in Ongwediva. The suspect, an Angolan man, has been arrested....

City cop back in court for rape

2 weeks ago - 17 March 2020 | Crime

A Windhoek City Police officer accused of raping a 16-year-old girl between May and November 2019 is expected to make a second appearance in the...

Man stabbed to death over tombo

2 weeks ago - 17 March 2020 | Crime

NAMPA A 40-year-old man died on Sunday after he was stabbed with a knife, allegedly by a 26-year-old suspect, at Aranos in...

Latest News

Holes emerge in lockdown plan

5 hours ago | Disasters

JEMIMA BEUKESWINDHOEKWith law-enforcement agencies having their hands full monitoring entry into the locked-down Erongo and Khomas regions, an oversight has led to the different routes...

49 now quarantined at Zambezi...

5 hours ago | Disasters

ELLANIE SMIT WINDHOEKAbout 49 Namibians, including immigration officials and students, are in quarantine at the state-owned Zambezi Waterfront Tourism Park in Katima Mulilo. Zambezi governor...

‘Govt must feed us’

5 hours ago | Disasters

ILENI NANDJATOOSHAKATIInformal traders are appealing to the government to feed them after the coronavirus outbreak necessitated the closure of open markets and the halting of...

April 1 no fool’s day...

5 hours ago | History

STAFF REPORTERWINDHOEKThe former chief of staff of Swapo’s armed wing PLAN, Charles Namoloh, says it is time the nation recognised the historical importance of 1...

Samherji’s Fishrot boss back on...

5 hours ago | Fishing

CATHERINE SASMANWINDHOEKThe Icelandic company implicated in the Namibian Fishrot scandal, Samherji, last week announced that its disgraced former CEO, Thorsteinn Már Baldvinsson, would return to...

Agriculture battles coronavirus

5 hours ago | Agriculture

STAFF REPORTER WINDHOEK While the agriculture ministry has gathered all stakeholders to discuss the impact of the coronavirus on the livestock sector, the industrialisation ministry...

Farmers keen on AALS

5 hours ago | Agriculture

ELLANIE SMIT WINDHOEK There has been a marked interest from farmers, particularly from previously disadvantaged backgrounds, regarding the Affirmative Action Loan Scheme (AALS).Agribank's manager for...

Students raise online learning concerns

5 hours ago | Education

Ester KamatiWINDHOEKThe Students Union of Namibia (SUN) wants the University of Namibia (Unam) to reconsider its decision to offer online learning, due to poor internet...

The struggle to get home

5 hours ago | Transport

Ester KamatiWindhoek The owner of a Khomasdal home shop and takeaway, Gerhard van der Westhuizen, says he is concerned about the safety of his staff,...

Load More