Fishrot bribery ring widens

A shocking attempt to bribe an ACC investigator with N$250 000 has led to another accused being added to the growing list of those incarcerated in connection with the Fishrot scandal.

23 January 2020 | Crime

While the main accused in the Fishrot bribery scandal await a hearing date in the Supreme Court to challenge their incarceration, another hanger-on, who allegedly tried to bribe an Anti-Corruption Commission (ACC) investigator, has joined them behind bars.

Jason Iiyambo is accused of having offered an ACC investigator a bribe of N$250 000 to hand over the Investec bank cards assigned to former MD James Hatuikulipi and another bank card belonging to Pius Mwatelulo.

Both Hatuikulipi and Mwatelulo are among the so-called Fishrot Six accused already in custody.

Iiyambo faces charges in connection with bribing an ACC investigator. Magistrate Linus Samunzala denied Iiyambo bail during a brief appearance in the Windhoek Magistrate's Court yesterday.

Prosecutor Tatelo Lusepani objected to bail on the grounds that it would not be in the interest of justice for Iiyambo to be released. It was also argued that he would interfere with the unfolding investigations if granted bail.

The case against Iyambo was postponed to February 20, when the so-called Fishrot Six will make their next court appearance. He will appear separately, the court heard.

His lawyer, Mervin Katuvesirauina, indicated they would be bringing a formal bail application.

ACC director-general Paulus Noa told Namibian Sun on Tuesday that an investigative officer of the commission had been offered money from the account of an unnamed Fishrot suspect in return for gaining access to the bank cards.

“We arrested someone last night (on Monday) for attempting to bribe an investigating officer to remove the ATM cards [from our offices],” Noa said late on Tuesday.

Former justice minister Shanghala, former fisheries minister Bernhard Esau, Hatuikulipi, suspended Investec manager Ricardo Gustavo, Esau's son-in-law Tamson Hatuikulipi and Hanganeni employee Pius Mwatelulo are said to have taken bribes from Icelandic fishing company Samherji in exchange for lucrative fishing quotas.

Last week Namibian Sun reported that Nigel van Wyk, who faces a charge of obstructing the course of justice by trying to remove material believed to be evidence from the house of former justice minister Sacky Shanghala, had abandoned his bail application.

Van Wyk is believed to be an employee of Olea Investments, a company owned by Shanghala. Olea allegedly received US$330 000 in bribes paid by Samherji.

The original Fishrot Six are being held at the Windhoek Central Correctional Facility until their next court appearance on 20 February, but following an unsuccessful bid to have the charges thrown out in the High Court, they have now launched an appeal in the Supreme Court.

Late last year the Law Society of Namibia confirmed it was investigating lawyer Sisa Namandje's trust account in light of revelations made in the Al Jazeera 'Fishrot' documentary.

Namandje's law firm's trust account is alleged to have channelled N$17.5 million in financial flows from public entity Fishcor.

Also under investigation is Walvis Bay lawyer Sacky Kadhila Amoomo, who allegedly played the role of fixer between foreign business people and Esau.

This followed after thousands of leaked documents showed that the accused had conspired with Samherji to receive bribes estimated at N$150 million in exchange for horse-mackerel fishing quotas.

While announcing Samherji's intention to de-invest in Namibia last week, company CEO Björgólfur Jóhannsson failed to give a timeframe, only saying that the process would “take some time”.

Govt red-faced

Acting fisheries minister Albert Kawana announced in December that workers who had lost their jobs due to Namsov losing its fishing quota under dubious circumstances during Esau's tenure would be given jobs again.

“I was given a directive by cabinet to make sure that all those that lost their jobs get their jobs back as soon as possible,” Kawana said in Walvis Bay, where he addressed fishing industry representatives and workers.

“And these workers should go back to work, as this is a directive by President Hage Geingob.

“They have suffered enough and their families have suffered enough and the time has come for them to have bread on the table.”

Kawana added that even the workers who had taken part in an illegal strike a few years ago would be re-employed, as people cannot be punished forever for their mistakes.

He also said that although the Fishrot scandal has angered many, everyone should allow the law to determine the final outcome.

It has been widely reported that job losses in the fishing industry over the years were caused by Esau's reallocation of fishing quotas to those linked to the unfolding Fishrot bribery scandal.

“What happened is before court. Let the law take its course. There are various institutions investigating the case, not only in this country but also internationally,” Kawana said.

Kawana was tasked by Geingob late last month to undertake an assessment and an evaluation of the country's marine resources and eliminate maladministration, nepotism and corruption.

He was also tasked to review the affairs and administration of the ministry of fisheries and Fishcor over the last ten years.


Similar News


Ndeitunga moves to limit lockdown arrests

19 hours ago | 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

19 hours ago | 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

1 day - 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

1 day - 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

1 week 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

Andreas reveals coronavirus fears

8 hours ago | Art and Entertainment

MICHAEL KAYUNDE WINDHOEKAs the worldwide coronavirus outbreak and its consequences continue to take the world by storm, celebrities have spoken about their own experiences, be...

Budget delayed 'until further notice'

10 hours ago | Economics

New finance minister Iipumbu Shiimi has announced that the tabling of the 2020/21 budget will be “delayed until further notice”.Shiimi issued a statement saying the...

Skorpion, MUN at loggerheads

19 hours ago | Business

Jo-Maré Duddy – The Mineworkers Union of Namibia (MUN) yesterday called for the urgent intervention of president Hage Geingob after Skorpion Zinc Mine and Refinery...

Coronavirus: Aochamub could be discharged...

19 hours ago | Disasters

TOIVO NDJEBELAWINDHOEKNamibian ambassador to France Albertus Aochamub says he has made a good recovery from coronavirus and may be discharged from hospital this week, having...

Budget faces downward revision

19 hours ago | Economics

OGONE TLHAGEWINDHOEKHeavy knock expected on· VAT· Company tax· PAYE· ...

‘Conflicted’ Muinjangue removed from genocide...

19 hours ago | Cultural

JEMIMA BEUKESWINDHOEKThe Ovaherero Traditional Authority (OTA) has recalled Ester Muinjangue as the chairperson of the Ovaherero Genocide Foundation (OGF), following her appointment as deputy health...

Booze sellers in trouble for...

19 hours ago | Business

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

Church bell stolen

19 hours ago | Disasters

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....

Needed: Stimulus packages

19 hours ago | Opinion

Many countries hit by the coronavirus scourge have hammered out ways in which to keep their economies afloat, especially after the stay-home directive is over...

Load More