12 October 2017

Namibia: Air Namibia Would-Be Fraudsters Get N$50 000 Bail

Windhoek — Two men arrested over a failed bid to divert N$1.1 million from Air Namibia's bank account into their own accounts were granted bail when they appeared in the Windhoek Magistrate's Court yesterday.

Magistrate Vanessa Stanley granted the accused persons, Tangi Amon Namwandi (33) and Penna Munyunda (31), N$50 000 bail each, much to the disbelief of the two who were only willing to pay up to N$10 000 individually for their freedom.

During the court proceedings, Namwandi's defence attorney Sisa Namandje, said he could not understand why bail money could be set so high, since the money in question was with the bank. "Only N$190 000 is unaccounted for, according to the state's version. The other amount is in the bank; there is no loss," said Namandje.

Christian Nambahu, who was representing Munyunda, informed the court that his client only earns N$19 000 a month, therefore, he is in no position to pay a hefty amount. "It is trite that the court should not impose bail that is out of reach for the accused person, which will be tantamount to the court not granting bail," argued Nambahu.

Munyunda, who was arrested on 4 October, was joined in the dock by Namwandi, who was arrested on Monday. Both were arrested in connection with a dubious transaction involving N$1.1 million belonging to Air Namibia. The money was meant to be transferred from Air Namibia's account to Namibia Airports Company's account.

It is alleged that the money transfer in question was done and signed off in an orderly manner with the intent to transfer it to another bank account when the bank detected it. According to the charge sheet, the alternative charge of theft emanates from the fact that the accused persons tried to steal the N$1.1 million from Air Namibia and/or one Lucy Mhambi.

State Prosecutor Rowan van Wyk told the court that up to N$800 000 of the N$1.1 million was reverted to the correct bank account.

"After consultations with the control prosecutor and investigative officer, the state wishes to lift its objections to the accused person being released on bail," Van Wyk told the court before the two were granted bail.

Magistrate Stanley informed Munyunda and his co-accused that they were granted bail on condition that they may not leave the district of Windhoek without informing the investigative officer; they should report themselves at the Windhoek Police Station every Monday and should hand in all travelling documents and should not attempt to apply for new ones until their case has been finalised.

The case was postponed to 8 February 2018 to allow for further police investigations.


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