Defence grills top cop in fraud case

Two Chinese men accused of money-laundering, as well as their Namibian co-accused, are equally likely to abscond if granted bail, the lead investigator argued in court yesterday.

11 January 2017 | Justice

OGONE TLHAGE



Tasked to head the investigation into a N$3.5 billion money-laundering scam, Chief Inspector John Mutongwe mumbled in court when he took to the stand to testify in the case involving businessman Laurentius Julius and his co-accused, Chinese nationals Huizhong Tau and Huang Jinrong.

During cross-examination, Mutongwe directly accused the three accused of fraud and money-laundering when questioned by Sisa Namandje, who is defending Tau and Jinrong. Asked how he knew, Mutongwe said documentary evidence the police had on hand suggested the guilt of the three accused.

Mutongwe admitted not knowing the location of accused number four, Chinese national Zhu Hanggang, who had been granted bail of N$500 000.

Mutongwe informed the court that 29 other Chinese nationals were under investigation and that arrests were imminent.

That drew the ire of Namandje, who asked Mutongwe why the 29 suspects had not yet been apprehended. Mutongwe indicated that arrests were to follow soon and said the suspects were scattered all over the country, making it difficult to arrest them.

Mutongwe told the court that Julius had travelled abroad at least 50 times, which indicated that he was as much of a flight risk as his co-accused.

That prompted Namandje to ask Mutongwe why his Chinese clients were a flight risk. Mutongwe said because there was no extradition treaty with China, there was no way to trace them if they absconded.

Namandje then asked him whether he knew about the Teko trial, involving another Chinese national who was granted bail. Mutongwe insisted, however, that no bail conditions would be sufficient to keep the accused in Namibia.

Namandje informed the court that he would challenge Mutongwe’s fitness as a witness once the trial began.

In his submission, Advocate Louis Botes, who is representing Julius under instruction from Dirk Conradie, said his client was willing to post bail of N$1.5 million and report to the police in Walvis Bay.

Botes informed the court that his client was also willing to stay within the Walvis Bay and Swakopmund magisterial districts.

Namandje requested to make his argument in favour of bail for Tau and Jinrong on Tuesday because of the non-availability of Magistrate Venatius Alweendo, who presided over the hearing. The hearing was then postponed to Tuesday.

Similar News

 

Court reins in spies

13 hours ago | Justice

The flimsy fig leaf of national security and secrecy, used by government, especially the Namibia Central Intelligence Service (NCIS), to withhold information in a constitutional...

Two in court after drug bust

13 hours ago | Justice

Two men arrested in connection with a drug bust at the port of Walvis Bay on Friday made their first court appearance yesterday. Grant Noble...

Wife killer possibly has brain damage

13 hours ago | Justice

A degree of organic brain damage was found in Willem Visagie Barnard, convicted of the murder of his wife, by a consultant clinical psychologist who...

Spy agency loses interdict bid

1 day - 18 June 2018 | Justice

The Namibia Central Intelligence Service (NCIS) has lost its bid to interdict the weekly The Patriot newspaper from publishing a story revealing details of property...

Human trafficking trial postponed

4 days ago - 15 June 2018 | Justice

The trial of a woman accused of trafficking a child for sexual exploitation at Okahandja has been put on hold until August this year.The trial...

Acquitted man gets his money back

5 days ago - 14 June 2018 | Justice

The Windhoek High Court has ordered the inspector-general of the Namibian Police to comply with an order of the Regional Court in Katutura and release...

Telecom to cough up 1.5% turnover to Cran

5 days ago - 14 June 2018 | Justice

The Supreme Court has found that although a levy of 1.5%, imposed by the Communication Regulatory Authority of Namibia (Cran) on the annual turnover of...

Avid kingpin a 'broken' man

6 days ago - 13 June 2018 | Justice

One of the Avid fraud kingpins, Nico Josea, says he is a broken man. Testifying in mitigation of sentence yesterday in the High Court, Josea...

Welder sues govt for N$6m

6 days ago - 13 June 2018 | Justice

A 29-year-old Namibian welder, who claims to have lost the opportunity for two tenders worth N$4.8 million in Angola in 2014 after his documents were...

Kapia begs for leniency

1 week ago - 12 June 2018 | Justice

FRED GOEIEMAN Former Swapo Party Youth League leader and works deputy minister Paulus Kapia has begged for mercy ahead of...

Latest News

Kingon re-appointed as SARS commissioner

13 hours ago | Economics

South African Revenue Service (SARS) acting commissioner Mark Kingon’s time at the helm has been extended by another three months, after minister of finance Nhlanhla...

Support for refugees

13 hours ago | Economics

NDAMA NAKASHOLEA total of N$13.2 million has been allocated in 2018/19 financial year to the administration of refugees programme under the home affairs ministry.The programme...

Totem

13 hours ago | Economics

Quote of the day“The Minerals Council believes that much more work needs to be done to create a Mining Charter that promotes competitiveness, investment, growth...

Court reins in spies

13 hours ago | Justice

The flimsy fig leaf of national security and secrecy, used by government, especially the Namibia Central Intelligence Service (NCIS), to withhold information in a constitutional...

Phosphate judgment on Thursday

13 hours ago | Environment

Environment minister Pohamba Shifeta has reserved judgment until Thursday on whether the granting of an environmental clearance certificate to Namibian Marine Phosphate (NMP) will be...

Public grills ECN contenders

13 hours ago | Government

OGONE TLHAGEThe Electoral Commission of Namibia (ECN) has started interviewing candidates for the position of chief electoral officer.For the first time ever, the process, which...

Otjomuise shack fire claims two

13 hours ago | Crime

JANA-MARI SMITH A shack fire in Windhoek’s Otjomuise area killed two people over the weekend.The police reported that the two...

Katrina takes time into own...

13 hours ago | Education

The education ministry has issued a directive that schools may not start earlier than 07:30 or later than 08:30.This follows numerous directives issued by the...

Two in court after drug...

13 hours ago | Justice

Two men arrested in connection with a drug bust at the port of Walvis Bay on Friday made their first court appearance yesterday. Grant Noble...

Load More