“We will come knocking at several doors soon” – ACC

The regional office of the Anti-Corruption Commission (ACC) in Swakopmund looks back on a productive 2016. A total of 42 new cases were recorded of which 19 were finalised, said head investigator Walter Kurz yesterday in Swakopmund during a debriefing to the local media.

“Creating awareness of corruption can never be enough. It is an ongoing process and should never stop,” said Kurz. During the briefing at the Office of the Governor, Kurz gave a brief overview of some notable cases the ACC is investigating across Erongo. Some of these cases are being investigated in the coastal towns Walvis Bay and Henties Bay, whilst the local authorities of Karibib, Usakos and Omaruru have also come under the spotlight.
Currently, the ACC investigates three high profile cases in Walvis Bay. One case, which is at an advanced stage, involves the tinting of the Mayor, Clr. Wilfred Immanuel’s mayoral vehicle. The procurement process to have the windows tinted was found to be suspicious.
“This case it at an advanced stage,” Kurz confirmed to the media. Another case from Walvis Bay is being investigated at the Erongo Quarry whilst the third case involves the sale of light industrial erven. Kurz did not go into detail on account of protecting the integrity of the investigations.
The ACC has conducted investigations all over the region and has another case from Usakos which is also at an advanced stage. It concerns the construction of a new office building. It is alleged that the tender for the construction of such was corruptly granted.
“We face many challenges during our investigations,” Kurz added. In this regard, he noted certain ministries which refuse to hand over documentation. He also mentioned the judiciary, which in certain cases acts very slow. “We had a case, which was thrown out (of court) as the case was being postponed for too many time over a long period. The witnesses disappeared at the end”, he said. As it was later impossible to track the witnesses the suspect was released even though there was a “watertight case.”
“I believe it would be a good thing if the ACC has its own court to prosecute cases” he explained. Adding it requires a lot of work to gather evidence and to prosecute white-collar crimes. Usually bank statements and many more documents are needed to make a case watertight.
During the briefing Kurz also named cases in which suspects have been arrested. He mentioned the arrest of two suspects for alleged corruption at NATIS. The case involves the issuance of driving license and testing of vehicle roadworthiness.
Another case where two suspects were apprehended, involves alleged corruption at the Ministry of Home Affairs and Immigration. The immigration officials were arrested and it is believed that they corruptly issued and extended work permits.
The ACC also arrested a police detective after it is alleged that he solicited a N$10 000 cash bribe in order to destroy a case docket. In another case one business person, who is the owner of a transport company, was arrested on charges of corruption after he allegedly bribed a Traffic Officer of Nampol with N$20 000.
The ACC also arrested a Chinese national, who is believed to have solicited N$30 000 from a private business person from a security company in exchange to process a tax invoice for payment for service delivery.

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