Probe ordered into Namcor fuel deal

15 July 2020 | Energy

OGONE TLHAGE

WINDHOEK



Public enterprises minister Leon Jooste has confirmed an instruction to the National Petroleum Corporation of Namibia (Namcor) board to investigate allegations that the parastatal is overpaying for the fuel that it procures from Swiss firm Gunvor.

According to a source at Namcor the parastatal's contract with Gunvor is in the region of N$28 to N$45 million. Gunvor has been embroiled in several international controversies, including in acts of corruption in Congo-Brazzaville and Ivory Coast, where it was reported that bribes of tens of millions of dollars were paid to public officials in order for the Swiss company to obtain oil shipments.





Jooste said he had initially asked the Anti-Corruption Commission (ACC) to investigate the matter.

“I received information on this and forwarded same to the Anti-Corruption Commission for investigation. The ACC replied by stating that this should be investigated by the board and I subsequently instructed the [board] chairperson to ensure that this is being done,” Jooste said.

The minister said he had thus asked the company's board chairperson, Engelhardt Kongoro, to investigate the claims.

A company insider also informed Namibian Sun that the state fuel company was overpaying for fuel without a contract in place.

“We have been buying fuel from that company but it seems that there is no contract in place. It looks like Namcor is buying fuel from the company at a higher price than usual,” the source said.



Procurement rules flouted

According to the source, there had been abuse of procurement policies that favoured it buying the fuel from Gunvor, allowing the state-owned entity to flout aspects of the Procurement Act.

“We have been abusing the restricted procurement process. Gunvor always comes out as a winner,” the source alleged. The restrictive bidding documents relating to Gunvor's procurement history also do not appear to have been published on the Central Procurement Board's website, as is required by the Public Procurement Act.

“The contract has been with Gunvor for over a year. This contract was supposed to have been reviewed by the Central Procurement Board but we manage this internally,” the source said.

According to the source, the contract is believed to be in the region of N$28 to N$45 million.

The company is said to have benefitted from the bid since August last year, insiders said. Officials say no due diligence was carried out in relation to this company, as is required under restrictive bidding processes.

The Swiss company is also allegedly earmarked to store its fuel at the N$5.6 billion Strategic Fuel Storage facility at Walvis Bay, from which it envisages supplying fuel to the Southern African market.

Gunvor Middle East DMCC, a subsidiary of the holding company, has been provisionally selected as fuel storage partner in the multibillion-dollar facility still under construction.



Strange bedfellow

Reuters reported in October 2019 that the Gunvor had been found criminally liable for corruption in the Republic of Congo and Ivory Coast.

It was the first time in Switzerland that a major trading firm had been found guilty on such charges, Swiss campaign group Public Eye said. It published an investigation into the deals in 2017.

“The Geneva commodities trader has been convicted of failing to take all the organisational measures that were reasonable and necessary to prevent its employees and agents from bribing public officials in order to gain access to the petroleum markets in the Republic of Congo and Ivory Coast,” a statement from the Swiss attorney-general's office said.

A former employee of the Geneva-based trader was sentenced to a suspended 18-month prison sentence for acts of corruption in Congo-Brazzaville and Ivory Coast.

Bribes of tens of millions of dollars were paid to public officials in order for Gunvor to obtain oil shipments, Public Eye reported.

The facts documented by the Office of the Attorney-General of Switzerland (MPC) confirmed the findings of Public Eye's investigation, that the employee did not act alone. Even CEO Torbjörn Törnqvist gave his approval for a Congolese public official to be hired as an intermediary.

Similar News

 

Probe ordered into Namcor fuel deal

2 months ago - 15 July 2020 | Energy

OGONE TLHAGE WINDHOEKPublic enterprises minister Leon Jooste has confirmed an instruction to the National Petroleum Corporation of Namibia (Namcor) board to investigate allegations that the...

Fuel prices expected to remain meek

3 months ago - 04 June 2020 | Energy

Phillepus Uusiku- The association between the Organisation of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) and independent oil producers such as Russia reached an agreement last month to...

Zambia denies expropriation

3 months ago - 04 June 2020 | Energy

Zambia's government said on Wednesday it had no intention of taking over Copperbelt Energy Corp (CEC), after the company accused the government of expropriating its...

Angola's oil output to drop

3 months ago - 02 June 2020 | Energy

Oil production in Angola will fall to 1.3 million barrels per day due to the cancellation or postponement of investments planned for this year, Banco...

NamPower to electrify 1 000 households

3 months ago - 29 May 2020 | Energy

ELLANIE SMIT WINDHOEK NamPower is set to electrify 1 000 households in Windhoek's peri-urban areas at a cost of N$15.5 million. This was announced yesterday...

Covid-19 delays oil exploration in Kavango

4 months ago - 22 May 2020 | Energy

KENYA KAMBOWE KAWE Reconnaissance Energy Africa (ReconAfrica), which has an interest in exploring oil and gas in the Kavango basin,...

Alweendo optimistic about renewable energy prospects

4 months ago - 19 May 2020 | Energy

NAMPAKHORIXASThe ministry of mines and energy is optimistic about the future of the renewable energy sector and the growing presence of international oil companies in...

Fuel retailers scramble to avoid losses

4 months ago - 11 May 2020 | Energy

JANA-MARI SMITH WINDHOEK A brief stock shortage of petrol and diesel last Wednesday at some fuel stations was due to savings measures...

Fuel price drop to bring some relief

4 months ago - 07 May 2020 | Energy

OGONE TLHAGE WINDHOEK With fuel prices dropping by a further N$1 a litre, economists differed on whether this will indeed have a...

17 hours of darkness for northern towns

5 months ago - 17 April 2020 | Energy

ILENI NANDJATOOKATOPEA broken crossarm on a power line left parts of the north without electricity for several hours this week.The 66kV line between Okatope and...

Latest News

The evil that men do

9 hours ago | Crime

JEMIMA BEUKESREHOBOTH The mother of two-week-old Charmaine Moss, who died after allegedly being raped by her father, has revealed shocking details about what had transpired...

Death of football further divides...

9 hours ago | Opinion

At the time when Namibians are angry at so many things – Covid-19, high unemployment rates and general levels of poverty – sport is the...

IPC dissident opens case against...

9 hours ago | Politics

JEMIMA BEUKES WINDHOEK Independent Patriots for Change (IPC) outcast Henry Ngenomesho has opened a case of assault by threat against party president Dr...

Antipsychotic drugs back in stock

9 hours ago | Health

TUYEIMO HAIDULA OSHAKATI After being out of stock for six months, the country has finally received antipsychotic and antidepressant medication....

Meatco works towards inclusivity

9 hours ago | Agriculture

STAFF REPORTERWINDHOEKMeatco hosted a stakeholder engagement meeting with mainly weekend farmers and members of the Namibia Emerging Commercial Farmers Union (NECFU) last week.These farmers are...

Meat industry players meet

9 hours ago | Agriculture

STAFF REPORTERWINDHOEKThe Meatco board last week paid a courtesy visit to the Meat Board of Namibia to discuss how to address crucial matters hampering the...

Breaking the stigma of dementia

9 hours ago | Health

ERWIN LEUSCHNERSWAKOPMUNDSwakopmund's Alzheimer Dementia Namibia (ADN) Centre is the only one of its kind in the country. Here around two dozen people are cared for...

Horrendous abortion

9 hours ago | Opinion

Modestus H We cannot live in the present without the past; we have to link them together. In the past, abortion was not as...

A seatbelt can save your...

9 hours ago | Opinion

FABIAN AMUKWELELEIn highly motorised countries, many deaths have been prevented by seatbelts. Yet, seatbelt compliance remains worryingly low in those countries, including Namibia, where vehicle...

Load More