By Marianne Nghidengwa
KOTJE Ngaujake, a 24-year-old Windhoek man, who is said to be engaged to Pendukeni Ithana, the daughter of Home Affairs and Immigration Minister, Pendukeni Iivula-Ithana, has made a brief appearance in the Windhoek Magistrate’s Court over alleged Value-Added Tax (VAT) fraud, involving over N$500 000.
The minister is in no way linked to the criminal matter.
Ngaujake was arrested on 15 June, after a joint investigation by the country’s intelligence service and the Finance Ministry, into the alleged defrauding of Inland Revenue.
He faces three charges of fraud, forgery and uttering.
Preliminary investigations reveal that Ngaujake misled the Receiver of Revenue about being a registered taxpayer, before allegedly submitting three false tax refund claims, between 2016 and 2017, relating to the importing of vehicles.
Court documents in Confidente’s possession show that Ngaujake allegedly cheated tax authorities out of a total N$515 411.60 over a period of seven months. He allegedly received N$47 378.87 between September and November 2016, N$52 198.98 between December 2016 and January 2017 and N$415 833.75 between February 2017 and March 2017.
“During 2016 to 2017 in Windhoek, the said accused did wrongfully, unlawfully and falsely, with the intent to defraud, give out and pretend to the Ministry of Finance’s Inland Revenue that he is a registered taxpayer; that the VAT returns for the periods of September 2016 to November 2016, December 2016 and January 2017, February 2017 and March 2017 were correct, and he was therefore entitled to VAT refunds; and by means of the said false pretences, induced Ananias Iiyambo, to the actual loss or prejudice of the Ministry of Finance’s Inland Revenue, to pay VAT refunds with a total value of N$515 411.60,” the court papers read in part.
It is also alleged that Ngaujake knew exactly what he was doing.
“The accused gave out the information, knowing the VAT returns submitted were falsified, he was not entitled to receive VAT, and thus committed the crime of fraud.”
In terms of the charges of forgery and uttering, Ngaujake allegedly forged the documents that he submitted to the Receiver of Revenue.
His fiancé was present when he appeared before Magistrate Ruben Mutuku last Thursday.
Mutuku granted him N$50 000 bail, which he and his lawyer Tommy Andima deemed exorbitant.
“We do understand the seriousness of the offence, and we consider the (bail) amount an exorbitantly high amount, and it will result in the refusal of bail; we are only able to afford N$40 000,” asserted Andima.
Mutuku, however, objected to N$40 000, by saying, “The amount is fair and just, considering the value involved in this case.”
Ngaujake was warned that a warrant of arrest will be issued for him, should he fail to show up for his second appearance in two months’ time, and that his bail money be forfeited to State.
Investigations into the matter continue.
Confidente. Lifting the Lid. Copyright © 2015