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Geingob told to be patriotic and assign more investigators to ACC

President Hage Geingob must have a patriotic interest to give more teeth and venom to the Anti-Corruption Commission to widen and strengthen its position in investigating the Fish-rot scandal, lawmaker and LPM leader Bernardus Swartbooi has said.

Swartbooi has shared suspicions more heads are still to roll in the scandal which has netted in ex-fisheries minister Bernard Esau and his son-in-law Tamson Hatuikulipi, ex-justice minister Sacky Shanghala, James Hatuikulipi et al.

They are in the thickness of allegations of corruption, money laundering and bribes in the fishing sector received from an Icelandic company in return for giving it unbridled access into the country’s fishing sector.

“Esau cannot get bail. When the ACC person says that this is what we have discovered, but we are still investigating potential areas where money may have been kept, where cars are still hidden, where properties are still hidden, we can’t have Esau on bail because we are talking about billions upon billions that have been looted and squandered with impunity.

There is no justification in law for these guys to get bail. They must sit. ACC must get more investigators and Geingob must get on the record and say that he is going to deploy sufficient resources because as (Willem) Olivier says, this is the biggest case of corruption so far. Not only in terms of the size of the money but the net worth.

 The syndicate is about to be uncovered and has so far been uncovered. The President must have a patriotic interest to assign as many investigators as possible to the ACC so that we are able to expose everyone in fact, even, to empower ACC to get institutions like the FBI to get involved. This is very serious. Other countries have done it,” said Swartbooi.

Not everyone shares the sentiment of involving a foreign entity in a sovereign state.

 The FBI has stationed special agents and other personnel, law enforcement and security services in designated foreign countries, agencies that have jurisdiction over the matters under investigation.

But Swartbooi concedes that the ACC has been deliberately underfunded.

Pressed on why lawmakers have not pushed for more funds for the ACC vigorously, he said the entity itself should also have taken the initiative.

“If we have today sufficient evidence and ability to get the US$63 million back, imagine what that would do for funding government expenses under this economic environment where Covid has wrecked economies of the world. Should it not be an important issue for him as a matter of fundraising even to say we need that money back?

I am actually worried about the safety of Olivier actually after he made these revelations. I am very worried because I do not hear Noa coming out and speaking about this also. Of course, they are limited, this guy was speaking under oath. So, we have no reason to suspect that he was lying. I see schisms within the ACC but this is very big,” he said.

Olivier is a senior investigating officer who revealed in court that N$17.5 million from Fishcor was channelled through a lawyer, Sisa Namandje’s trust account to fund a Swapo campaign.

Julia Heita

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