Phillipus Mwapopi, one of the Fishrot accused looking for his liberty in a continuing bail application in the High Court, yesterday admitted that he received various payments from several fishing enterprises.
He, however, vehemently denied that it was the proceeds of the Fishrot scam as Namibia’s most high profile fraud scheme has come to be known. According to Mwapopi, after he successfully asked the National Fishing Corporation (Fishcor) to deliver dry fish for the drought relief programme, he was approached by several fishing enterprises that were in business with Fishcor to provide them with consultancy services including shipwright, vessel maintenance and management services.
With regards to several payments, he received from Deep Ocean Processors, a subsidiary of the Novanam Group of companies, he said it was for consultancy services he provided to Gwanyemba Trust which belongs to former chief executive officer (CEO) of Fishcor, Mike Nghipunya. According to him, he sourced mining equipment and arranged storage for it and also provided maintenance for them. For these, he said, he was instructed by Nghipunya to invoice Deep Ocean for the work he has done for Gwanyemba Trust. Mwapopi, on paper, was the sole proprietor of Wanakadu Investments, although the State claims that Nghipunya was a 50% shareholder, denied any of the assertions by State advocate Cliff Lutibezi that the company was used as a conduit to channel the ill-gotten funds from the Fishrot scam.
He vehemently defended the payments he received from the fishing entities including Lowkey Investments and the subsequent payments to entities belonging to his fellow Fishrot accused, but categorically refused to answer any questions pertaining to an audit report by auditors Deloitte.
Mwapopi is accused together with former justice minister Sacky Shanghala, former minister of fisheries Bernhardt Esau, former chair of Fishcor James Hatuikulipi, his cousin Tamson, Pius Mwatelulo, Ricardo Gustavo, Otneel Shuudifonya and Nigel van Wyk, of corruptly receiving payments to give a competitive advantage to Icelandic fishing company Samherji in securing access to horse mackerel quotas in Namibia.
Also on the list of people added to the charges is lawyer Marèn de Klerk.
The State is yet to extradite De Klerk from South Africa and Icelandic nationals Ingvar Júlíusson, Egill Helgi Árnason and Aðalsteinn Helgason.
The State alleges that all the accused acted in common purpose.
The accused remain in custody and the matter will return to court today at 10h00.