Development Bank Chairperson and Businesswoman Tania Hangula is alleged to be one of the Namibian people who received bank transfers from a questionable South African company that is embroiled in the SME Bank’s insolvency.
Hangula and the finance minister’s assistant Esau Mbako appeared before a Namibian commission of inquiry into the theft of over N$300 million from the SME Bank.
Impeccable sources The Patriot spoke to alleged that there are bank records that show how Hangula had money transferred into her First National Bank account from the Asset Movement and Financial Services AMFS), a Benoni-based company.
AMFS is the same company that according to a very damning court application this week, has been used to syphon alleged stolen money from the SME Bank in a big fraud scheme. AMFS has since changed its name and closed shop.
Speaking to Hangula telephonically yesterday she denied having any knowledge of AMFS. “The case is under judgment, I cannot comment on a matter that is under judgement.”
The matter is subject to a commission of inquiry which Hangula acknowledges being summoned to, to testify before as a witness in the SME Bank matter. Witnesses were only summoned if they could provide context for the manner in which the money re-entered Namibia such as the commercial banking sector or where inviduals were suspected of having funds in their accounts which were linked to the disappeared millions.
“I am saying to you I am not willing to talk about an issue that is under investigation. So, if you ask me now if I know Asset Management, whatever, I said I don’t know them. You asked me have I done business with them, how can I do business with someone that I don’t know?”
Asked about the money being allegedly deposited into her account, Hangula said “I am not aware of it. If there is an allegation where is the proof that money was deposited into my account? I don’t know the company, how can someone whom I don’t know put money in my account?”
The Patriot has received a tip off comprising a number of high profile Namibians who, according to bank statements have allegedly received money from the controversial, now liquidated entity.
South African media reported that the company was flagged by the South African Financial Sector Conduct Authority and that the company was known for being the go-to entity when it comes to “dealing with dirty money”.
Journalists have allegedly been warned to tread carefully once they found themselves snooping around about the company.
Who is AMFS?
AMFS changed its name to shelf company Sparax Trading and went into voluntary liquidation last year, company registry records in South Africa show.
AMFS before changing was headed by supermodel Kalandra Viljoen.
Kalandra was quoted in the South African media pleading ignorance about the source of the funds that made its way to her company. Viljoen however, according to the court documents, was noted as one of the people who delivered cash to Enock Kamushinda, Zimbabwean national who held a 37% stake in SME bank.
Efforts to track down Viljoen proved futile.
Apart from Viljoen, only two other people were listed as members of AMFS – Veronica Shubach and Andries Greyvenstein. Both have since resigned in 2014 and 2016 respectively.
From N$200 million to N$347 million
While it has been consistently reported that the money stolen from the Small and Medium Enterprise Bank (SME) being around N$200 million, an affidavit by the provisional liquidator for the bank, Ian McLaren indicated that this amount ballooned to N$347 million – at least.
McLaren’s affidavit was filed at the High Court of Namibia on Friday in an application by himself and fellow liquidator David Bruni to sue five Zimbabwean nationals who benefitted from the funds that were allegedly stolen from the now wound-up Namibian bank.
Appearing before High Court Judge Collins Parker, the liquidators walked away victorious when a court order was granted for Namibian assets that belong to Zimbabwean businessman and former SME Bank board deputy chairperson Enoch Kamushinda, SME Bank’s former Chief Executive Officer Tawanda Mumvuma, the bank’s former finance manager Joseph Banda and former employees of the bank Chiedza Goromonzi and Lyndon Gaidzanwa, be attached.
The assets listed for attachment include four pairs of shoes and a diary Goromonzi left behind at her desk at the bank’s head office. Gorominzi left the country when the Bank of Namibia took over the bank’s management in March 2017.
Other property includes shareholding in Namibian registered entities, fixed property in Windhoek, cash and books.
Amongst the publication was a self-help book by author Joel Osteen titled ‘Every Day a Friday’, ‘Fasting: Opening the door to a deeper, more intimate, more powerful relationship’ by author Jentezen Franklin and a Bank of Namibia booklet titled ‘Money Laundering Affects Us All’.
The publications were all found at the former CEOs desk.
Kamushinda’s attached assets include a memberships in different entities including a membership in the Windhoek Golf Estate Number 37.
According to the court documents filed on Friday, provisional liquidator McLaren said that Kamushinda, assisted by Mumvuma, Goromozi and Banda from the bank’s finance department, as well as others from that department were all involved in the disappearing of N$247 million from SME Bank’s two bank accounts at First National Bank of Namibia and Standard Bank of Namibia.
The millions were transferred from the accounts over the period of three years between December 2013 and December 2016.
The wound-up Namibian bank’s legal advisor Tania Pearson in court documents stated that the Zimbabwean businessman Kamushinda played a pivotal role in the stealing of millions out of the bank as he was instrumental in the creation of fabricated payment instructions to cover up the stealing of the money.
They allegedly falsified reasons for payments and recipients of payments in the bank’s internal records to create the appearance that transfers of the huge amounts were for true business.
A supposed computer company in South Africa, Moody Blue, received a total payment of N$21,4 million up until July 2016 for the supply of computers.
This money however allegedly made its way to companies in the Democratic Republic of Congo.
This was questionable because the companies did not form part of the banks clientele.
McLaren in the recent court application also pointed out that another disinvestment of N$10 million of SME Bank money from VBS raised more questions when it found its way to an investment held at Peregrine Equities Limited.
This company has one shareholder who is the banker Mauwane Kotane.
The liquidator in his affidavit said that between N$100 million and N$140 million was transferred to Namibian individuals and entities.
SME Bank’s legal advisor referred to a service agreement for transfer and transport of money, between AMFS and one of Kamushinda’s Namibian companies Crown Finance Corporation as a cover-up for laundering money.
Pearson in her affidavit stated that the Benoni-based Asset Movement and Financial Services (AMFS) received a transfer of N$79,8 million from the SME Bank with N$64 million of this being paid out in cash to George Markides.
This amount was paid in two parts, one being N$78,7 million and the other N$1,1 million.
South African media reported that Markides is the same businessman who ordered AMFS to deliver money to South African individuals.
Pearson in her affidavit further said that Crown Finance Corporation and Heritage Investments respectively received N$2,8 and N$2,3 million.
The inquiry that started last week and was set to continue with at least one person having to be questioned, opened the doors to the possible inquiry in the United Arab Emirates city of Dubai.