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Fishrot: as the legal process progresses some events occur

Click on the flag for more information about Namibia NAMIBIA
Friday, July 31, 2020, 16:00 (GMT + 9)

Firms deny getting Fishrot millions

INVESTMENT firms Pointbreak Wealth Management and IJG Securities say they were not beneficiaries of transactions made by two Fishrot-linked firms.

The Namibian reported last week that Namibian companies implicated in the Fishrot scandal transferred close to N$100 million to prominent financial investment firms in the past six years.

The investment companies are IJG Securities (N$61 million), Pointbreak (N$23 million) and Investec Asset Management Namibia (N$10 million).

That report was based on documents submitted to court by the Anti-Corruption Commission and comments made by former minister of fisheries and marine resources Bernhard Esau's lawyer, Richard Metcalfe.

Photo: The Namibian

ACC director general Paulus Noa also confirmed they are still busy obtaining evidence relating to the flow of money to implicated companies.

Two of the investment firms took offence at some words used in the article, saying it made it look as if the companies were beneficiaries of the transactions when The Namibian said they were “paid”. 

The third company – Investec Asset Management Namibia (Now renamed Ninety One Asset Management Namibia) – sent a letter through their lawyers demanding that the newspaper retracts and apologises for the story. 

The company, without providing evidence to the contrary, said they could not trace the N$10 million allegedly transferred to it. 

POINTBREAK

Pointbreak, owned by FNB Namibia, said it administers client investments based on client instructions. 

“Pointbreak is never the beneficial owner of client investments,” Pointbreak Group chief executive officer Josephat Mwatotele said on Sunday. 

“The inference and the choice of words in the article that Pointbreak was paid or received funds for its benefit (save for administration and/or management fees earned on investments under its administration) is therefore incorrect,” he says. 

“This is the key issue to the story and paints a picture of us being beneficiaries of illicit funds outside our normal course of business”. 

Court documents show that DHC Inc and Celax, co-owned by lawyer Marén de Klerk, allegedly transferred N$23 million to Pointbreak in six years. 

Pointbreak in turn transferred around N$16 million to DHC Inc.

IJG 

The same article said the largest beneficiary (N$61 million) of the N$100 million transferred by Celax Investments and DHC Inc was IJG Securities, as per court documents. 

The investment firm, however, said they were not beneficiaries of the funds.

The IGJ board issued a statement on Monday, saying the money was not for them since they are only brokers.

NINETY ONE 

Last week's article also reported that law firm DHC Inc, a law firm implicated in fraud and money laundering allegations as part of the Fishrot scandal, transferred N$10 million to Investec Asset Management Namibia (now known as Ninety One Asset Management Namibia). 

Court documents said N$44 000 was sent back to DHC Inc. 

Ninety One Asset Management Namibia wrote a letter on Monday through their lawyers, demanding that The Namibian retracts the article and apologises for it.

Fishcor subsidiary denies dark deals

A FISHCOR subsidiary that is largely owned by South African businessman Adriaan Louw says the company was not involved in money laundering linked to the Fishrot corruption scandal.

However, the company – Seaflower Pelagic Processing – failed to provide a report to publicly declare its innocence. 

Seaflower Pelagic Processing issued a statement published in newspapers yesterday in what appears to be a move to undermine an ongoing court process linking one of Seaflower Pelagic Processing's co-owners to the corruption scandal. 

Fishcor owns 40% of Seaflower Pelagic Processing (Pty) Ltd while African Selection Fishing Namibia (Pty) Ltd (ASF) owns 60%.

 

Photo: The Namibian

African Selection Namibia was initially majority-owned by Louw, with a 62% stake. 

Other shareholders were lawyer Marén de Klerk's Celax Investments Number One (33%) and Angolan-based African Selection Trust (5%). 

Celax Investments Number One is named by the Anti-Corruption Commission in court papers as one of the companies allegedly involved in laundering N$75 million meant for Fishcor.

Company documents show a group of fewer than five people were lined up to land a total of N$3,6 billion in profits from the partnership with the South African businessman.

Cabinet directed that the agreement with Louw's entity be cancelled.

However, Seaflower Pelagic Processing has been campaigning to pressure the Ministry of Fisheries and Marine Resources to provide it with fishing quotas.

The latest tactic is a public statement by Louw.

Seaflower Pelagic Processing issued the statement yesterday, saying five articles published by The Namibian between 13 December 2019 and 20 July 2020 regarding suspicious payments involving millions of dollars made to various entities and individuals were “false and misleading”.

The Namibian relied on public information, agreements and court documents submitted by the Anti-Corruption Commission (ACC) as part of the Fishrot court case. 

Seaflower Pelagic Processing said “this is simply not the truth and these incorrect media statements have been severely damaging to the business, the goodwill of the company and the continued employment of the 655 strong workforce”.

Fishrot lawyer claims murder attempt

AWYER Marén de Klerk, who has been implicated in the Namibian fishing industry corruption scandal that led to the arrest of two former ministers and a number of co-accused, says he has received threats against his life.

“I have received several threats against my life and have reason to believe that powerful and well-connected individuals whose unlawful activities stand possibly to be exposed by what I have to say, have orchestrated at least one attempt on my life,” De Klerk states in a sworn statement now filed at the Windhoek High Court.

De Klerk does not name the people he believes to have plotted against him, but says in his affidavit he is cooperating with the Anti-Corruption Commission (ACC), which is investigating alleged multimillion-dollar corruption with the allocation and use of Namibian fishing quotas. 

He also says he has provided written statements to the ACC.

Having not returned to Namibia since leaving the country in January, De Klerk says he has reason to believe his life would be threatened if he returns to the country.

Authors:  Shinovene Immanuel, Lazarus Amukeshe, Victoria Wolf, Eliaser Ndeyanale and Werner Menges / The Namibian

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