30 November 2012

Namibia: Missing Millions of ODC Trickle in

NINE years after N$100 million disappeared from the coffers of the Offshore Development Corporation through dubious investments, the investigation into the matter still has not been concluded.

Reporting back to Parliament this week, the minister of presidential affairs, Albert Kawana, said only N$37,5 million of the missing money had been recovered.

He said measures were being put in place to recover an additional close to N$5 million, which would bring the total amount recovered to N$42,43 million.

Kawana said the prosecutor general’s office “will continue with its efforts to ensure that those involved are brought to book”.

“Measures are being put in place in order to achieve this objective. I therefore plead with our nation to understand that the measures that we are taking are being done beyond the borders of Namibia and therefore we have to comply with the laws of foreign countries,” Kawana said.

He said it is the “duty of those entrusted with public resources to ensure that they account to this nation”.

“Individuals should not become millionaires overnight without explaining how they acquired such wealth when only yesterday they were John Walker specials who could not even afford a bicycle. This nation is entitled to know the source of wealth of every citizen, especially from those individuals who are entrusted with the nation’s public resources,” Kawana said.

No one in Namibia has been prosecuted in Namibia over the missing N$100 million.

Kawana said the Office of the Prosecutor General had applied for the liquidation of properties of certain people, some of whom were currently serving prison terms for fraud and corruption in other countries.

When asked who these individuals were and if they were serving prison terms for crimes related to the ODC millions, Prosecutor General Martha Imalwa said she would need to go through her files to give a response.

The saga started when during 2003 and 2004 the ODC invested N$101,8 million in separate transactions with Great Triangle Investments which was registered in Botswana but owned by South African Philip Fourie.

It was later believed that much of the millions originated from the ODC sister company, the Namibia Development Corporation (NDC) and the Ministry of Trade and Industry.

Investigations started in 2004 to trace the millions, when it was found that the money had been moved from accounts in South Africa, the United States of America, Swaziland, and other countries.

Kawana said in Parliament this week that it soon became clear that there was a criminal element in the disappearance of the money that left the borders of Namibia.

He said the Office of the Prosecutor General had to use international procedures to ensure that other countries would render assistance, which has enabled it to file for the liquidation of properties of the “certain individuals”.

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