22 November 2012

Namibia: GIPF Dockets Back to Police

PROSECUTOR General Martha Imalwa has referred two dockets about the missing Government Institutions Pension Fund (GIPF) million back to the police for further investigation.

“I  my office – went through the dockets. There are still investigations to be conducted,” she said upon enquiry yesterday.

The two dockets are that of Ongopolo and Omina Investments, Imalwa said.

She said it was important to note that an accused is not necessarily guilty of an offence. “A person becomes guilty when proven [guilty] beyond reasonable doubt in a court of law. Allegations can be true and allegations can be false.”

Imalwa said: “ number of dockets come to my office and end up with me deciding not to prosecute. The public should get proper information.”

Yesterday afternoon, Lieutenant General Sebastian Ndeitunga, the Inspector General of the Namibian Police, said he was not aware that the two dockets were on their way back to the police.

Asked what progress the police were making with the rest of the GIPF investigation, he said he would not comment at this stage.

In October, Ndeitunga announced that the police had finalised two of the 21 dockets and forwarded them to the PG’s office.

The investigation was divided into 21 dockets because there were 21 Development Capital Portfolio (DCP) loans.

Earlier, it was reported that a lawyer, a chartered accountant, a former commanding officer of a commercial crime unit and an investigator with an accounting background – all from Nexus Forensic Services in South Africa – were on the team helping the Namibian Police get to the bottom of the GIPF’s missing N$660 million.

Ndeitunga said the remaining dockets would be wrapped up within six months.

According to him, the investigating team had studied over 600 000 documents, analysed over 520 bank accounts and interviewed about 200 witnesses over nine months.

He said criminal conduct was suspected with regard to several loans and a number of suspects had been identified.

In January, Ndeitunga said the probe would take nine months. But in October, he said the team had encountered a number of obstacles which caused a delay in the investigation. Because some of the events date back to between 11 and 15 years ago, some documents were no longer available, he said.

Moreover, some people could not remember the details of the events because they happened so long ago, Ndeitunga said.

Also, many suspects and witnesses live outside Namibia, for example in South Africa, Ndeitunga said. “Therefore, investigators had to travel to South Africa on numerous occasions to consult and interview witnesses to obtain the necessary documentation.”

The GIPF pumped millions into projects against professional investment advice, and at times against the Companies Act, and without receiving formal applications or security, a report tabled at the NUNW’s September 2010 congress claimed.

The report, compiled by Evilastus Kaaronda, the former NUNW secretary general, was based on a confidential investigation by the Namibia Financial Institutions Supervisory Authority (Namfisa) into the GIPF’s DCP scheme. It said in many cases no minutes, or only unsigned minutes, existed for board meetings where loans were approved.

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