Namibia: Court orders freeze on N$2,8m SA property of fraud suspects

THE High Court has ordered a Cape Town-based golf estate to freeze all property deals involving suspects in the Teko Trading CC multi-million dollar fraud case that burst into the open a week and a half ago.

The curator appointed to trace all assets belonging to Teko Trading and the various principals involved in the case has confirmed that N$2,8 million has been paid over to a Cape Town-based golf estate development.

The lawyers for Cape Royal, Smith Tabata Buchanan Boyes Attorneys, were ordered by the High Court on July 6 to freeze all properties or property transactions involving the suspects in the case.

Cape Royal operates a chain of upper-class golf estates where homes retail for between N$4 million and N$8 million, according to their website. Neither Cape Royal nor their lawyers have responded to requests for comment.

Public Service Commissioner Teckla Lameck, Chinese national Yang Fan and Kongo Mokaxwa, Lamecks partner in Teko Trading CC, will make another appearance in court on Wednesday in the first case in which the Namibian authorities have made use of the new Prevention of Organised Crime Act to freeze assets allegedly acquired through criminal conduct.

Lameck, Mokaxwa and Yang are charged with fraud, bribery and corruption in connection with a contract between the Ministry of Finance and a Chinese manufacturer of scanning equipment, Nuctech Company, for the provision of security X-ray scanners to the Finance Ministry.

It is claimed that after the contract was signed and the Finance Ministry had made a payment of US$12,828 million to the Chinese company, Nuctech paid more than N$42 million to Teko Trading, with N$16,8 million of this money subsequently transferred to an account of Yang, N$9,39 million transferred to an account of Lameck, and N$8 million going to Mokaxwa.

Yang has in turn transferred N$2,8 million to law firm Smith Tabata Buchanan Boyes, it is claimed.

So far, none of the three suspects have been asked to plead. They have been held in custody, pending further investigation, for the past week and a half.

Lawyers acting for the group have denied that their clients were involved in any illegal kickback scheme.

Sources close to the investigation indicated that further arrests could be expected in a widening scandal that reaches into the upper echelons of the Namibian and Chinese governments.

Nuctech is alleged to be involved in selling the X-ray scanning equipment to Namibia at hugely inflated prices (similar scanners were sold to the USA for US$1,9 million, while Namibia paid on average about US$5,4 million), and has also been embroiled in a similar deal in South Africa.

The President of Nuctech is Hu Haifeng, only son of Chinas President Hu Jintao. Nuctech has so far avoided commenting on the matter.

Lawyers acting for Bank Windhoek last week confirmed that Mokaxwa had in March bought out an insolvent real estate development in Klein Windhoek at an auction.

The property, situated on the corner of Hebenstreit and Rautenbach streets, is situated across the new Chinese compound under construction since 2007.

Eyewitnesses said (and lawyers independently confirmed) that 30-year-old Mokaxwa had bid N$9,2 million for the incomplete, 18-unit retirement village that ran into financial difficulties about a year ago.

Mokaxwa beat other interested buyers who mostly did not want to offer more than N$5 million for the incomplete project by a bid of N$9,2 million. He had also paid the deposit of N$920 000 over to the auctioneers, a lawyer close to the matter said.

The property was then transferred from the various close corporations (CCs) set up for this purpose by the previous owners to another CC in the name of Mokaxwa and one nominee.

Estate agents for the development confirmed that Vincent Sorensen, owner of Viking Developers, was to partner Mokaxwa in completing the 18 units, of which only four have been completed.

The group appeared to have big plans for tourism: the curator confirmed that Lameck and her husband, Festus Lameck, and the Mokaxwa couple had acquired several farms in the Otjozondjupa region, some of which has been stocked with rare game such as roan antelope.

Records showed that apart from the farm Kainami bought by the Lamecks, other properties linked to the group include the farm Voorbegin 987, Khusib 6 and Abena 709.

Teko Tradings bank records also show an amount of N$1,13 million paid over to Feigenfeld Farming (Pty) Ltd, the operating company for a farm close to Okakarara.

Transfers totalling N$1,3 million were also made to Polytech engineering lecturer Lance Hauuanga, who had sold an undeveloped Dolphin Beach property to the Lamecks for N$200 000. It is not clear what the balance was for.

The case has led to a flurry of high-level diplomatic activity between Windhoek and Beijing, and sources said Prosecutor-General Martha Imalwa was to travel to Beijing within the coming week to address this and another, similar matter.

The investigation continues.

The Namibian

Post published in: Economy

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *