79 charges of fraud
79 charges of corruption
A senior Namibian Central Intelligence Agency (NCIS) official appeared in the Windhoek Magistrate’s Court on Wednesday for allegedly defrauding the spy agency of about N$17 million.
The 56-year-old official, whose name is known to The Patriot but cannot be revealed, appeared in camera after he was arrested by the Namibian Police in Ondangwa on Tuesday evening. The suspect was held at a secret location on Tuesday evening until he made his appearance at the Court on Wednesday morning.
It is understood that he faces 79 charges of fraud, money laundering, theft and corruptly using his office/position for gratification.
The official is one of the top five in the service’s hierarchy.
Information at hand indicate that the official committed the heinous crimes between 2003 and 2011. The case was opened in 2013 with case no CR 216/10/2013. According to information available, the investigation is complete with the prosecution sanctioned by the Prosecutor General. It remains unclear why the arrest of the official took as long as five years given the seniority of the suspect.
His case was remanded to 18 October 2018 and he was released on bail of N$40 000. He will appear in the High Court.
His defence lawyer George Neves refused to comment when approached.
“This is a national security matter therefore I cannot comment. I am still waiting for disclosure because I have not seen the docket,” said Neves.
In light of the high integrity required by officials in the agency, talks are rife that the accused could be suspended in due course.
This fraud case comes hot on the heels of a recent court loss for the NCIS when the High Court dismissed its application to block a news article which The Patriot intended to publish several shady deals it is involved in.
During the trial, the defence team of NCIS argued that the NCIS is incapable of committing any form of corruption and should thus not be subjected to judicial oversight.
Investigations conducted by this newspaper into corruption allegations at NCIS have turned up information of absolute power which has made the spy agency unaccountable for tax payers’ money. The NCIS’ legal team is on record when it stated in the High Court that it wanted the spy agency to be insulated from both parliamentary and judicial oversight.
The Parliamentary Committee on Defence and Security is tasked with “examining the expenditure, administration and policy’ of the NCIS. The committee however does not have access to any operational information of the agency and as such has not submitted a report to Parliament.
In his judgment delivered in June, Judge Harald Geier “said the action of the NCIS are subject to judicial oversight as it operates in the context of a democratic state founded on the rule of law which rule subjects all public officials and all those exercising public functions, whether openly or covertly, in the interest of the State, to judicial scrutiny, this would include all operatives and functionaries of the NCIS.”
Geier underlined that the agency has been established to serve the state and thus remains accountable to the judiciary, adding that the law should never be used to cover up or prevent the exposure of corrupt activities.
“In my view the provisions of the law can and should never be used for any illegal purpose or to cover up unlawful or potentially unlawful activity,” said Geier.
Information detailing the extent to which the disgraced Namibian Central Intelligence Services (NCIS) has spent taxpayers money to fund a private association of former spies has exposed the agency’s shady dealings.
NCIS has consistently denied that it is linked to the association that was formed to advance the socio-economic wellbeing of former spies, despite facts proving the opposite.
“Kindly be advised that the Namibia Central Intelligence Service and or Mr Likando cannot comment or answer questions or issues that relate to another entity. On this basis, our clients are not in a position to answer any question…,” said the government attorney Mathias Kashindi in April 2018.
However, a trove of documents, seen by The Patriot related to the NCIS-linked association, details the intricate web of connection between the NCIS and the association which include cash donations as well as usage of government facilities.
It is not known whether the donations or purchases were sanctioned by Treasury or the President. It has been a case of easy pickings for the association at the country’s spy agency. It has sucked huge sums out of NCIS, as well as other donations in form of offices, equipment and subsidised accommodation. NCIS has also been an alleged cash cow for some of the spy agents through the farms and guesthouses owned by the spy agency in which lucrative deals and apparently sham arrangements have been struck.
Former president Hifikepunye Pohamba, according to documents, has played a key role in endorsing the association which was established to take care of ex-spies.
Pohamba, The Patriot understands, bestowed upon the association the status of being a non-organic part of the NCIS.
Following the bestowment of the title, NCIS director Benedict Likando said “ in this regard all members of the association are now regarded as employees of NCIS”. The members from the association enjoy an avalanche of benefits. The association has targeted to benefit from lucrative economic areas such as mining exploration, fishing quotas, construction, agriculture, tourism and construction.
In 2015, the association was accorded office space equipped with furniture, stationary and communication tools at the highly-secured training facility of the NCIS. The facility’s location is known to The Patriot but cannot be revealed for security reasons.
NCIS also gave the association a laptop and a memory stick.
NCIS also pledged to donate a motor vehicle to the association for the use of the association.
The NCIS also fulfilled the promise it made on 7 June 2015 to donate N$100 000 to the association. Although the spy agency vehemently denied links to the association, there is also strong evidence that one of its employees was part of a task team composed by the association to explore the viability of the already listed income generating projects and to look into possible business proposals on behalf of the association as well as to identify other projects that could generate income for the association.
Director Likando on 16 May 2015 at the association’s consultative meeting held at Arebbusch pledged N$1 million to the association. NCIS pledged surety and the provision of back-up capital for the association when needed.
Sources have since accused the spy agency of corruption due to the fact that non-government employees (such as former NCIS members) are benefiting from resources of the State without such being lawfully enacted by the Public Service Commission or Parliament.
A second source, who spoke on condition of anonymity, said the link between NCIS and the association paints a picture that the rot is much deeper in the NCIS.
Likando also indicated that former NCIS members qualify for reduced rates at NCIS accommodation facilities as well as free accommodation for a set period at the NCIS guest house in Swakopmund. “The NCIS, through its Club Namib, also sells game meat at affordable rates and former members also qualify for this,” he said.
Likando also said at the time that NCIS will pay for an administrative assistant to handle the administrative matters of the association. Another pledge made by Likando is that death benefits of former members are the same as death benefits of serving NCIS members.
“In this regard, death benefits are also extended to spouses, children and parents of former members as well,” Likando said.
The director also pledged to assist the association to find suitable office space in the capital.