Namibia arrests former minister and ex-Investec manager on graft charges

Police Inspector-General, Sebastian Ndeitunga says Bernhardt Esau and Ricardo Gustavo, have been formally charged
Namibia arrests former minister and ex-Invsetec manager on graft charges

Namibian police have arrested the former Minister of Fisheries, Bernhardt Esau and a former senior manager of investment firm, Investec on charges of corruption.

Police Inspector-General, Sebastian Ndeitunga says Esau and former client manager of Investec Asset Management in Namibia, Ricardo Gustavo, have been formally charged and are expected to appear in court within 48 hours. 

Esau and Gustavo were arrested following allegations of involvement in a fishing scheme that generated kickbacks of at least, 150 million Namibian dollars ($10.20 million). 

Esau and Justice Minister, Sakeus Shanghala quit earlier this month over the bribery claims made in media reports. 

The two former ministers are alleged to have awarded horse mackerel quotas to Iceland’s biggest fishing firm, Samherji in exchange for bribes. Samherji says it had hired a law firm to investigate the allegations. 

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The Namibia managing director of South African investment firm, Investec James Hatuikulipi resigned two days after the minister’s allegations that he spearheaded the scheme, while Gustavo was suspended. 

READ: Namibia set for elections despite tough economy

The Anti-Corruption Commission Director-General, Paulus Noa says warrants of arrest have been issued to other Namibian officials and businessmen implicated in the matter. 

Investec has announced that the individuals suspected in the case have left the bank and the company has no connection to it. Its ex-employees had not used their positions at Investec to facilitate the alleged scheme in any way, it adds.

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