WINDHOEK: Inspector-General of Namibian Police Force (NamPol) said forensic investigations into mismanagement and alleged squandering of over N.dollars 660 million from the Government Institutions’s Pension Fund (GIPF), are challenging and of complex nature.
Sebastian Ndeitunga said this when he briefed the media on the progress of NamPol’s forensic investigations into the much-publicised GIPF missing millions from its Development Capital Portofolio (DCP) loan scheme here on Monday morning.
‘The GIPF-DCP loans totaling N.dollars 660 million were paid out in 21 different loans, which makes for 21 commercial crime investigations. This is not an easy task for NamPol investigation team because some of the loans were paid out between 15 and 16 years ago. Some institutions or persons would normally not keep documentations for such a long period of time, nor are they obliged by the Namibian law to do so, ‘ explained Ndeitunga.
According to the police chief, other challenges the investigation team faced with during the process were that some individuals implicated in the GIPF saga cannot remember anymore the exact details of the events that happened long ago and ‘only very few people are prepared to assist the NamPol team or become involved.’
In some cases, said Ndeitunga, the NamPol forensic investigation team found documentation of investments that dragged on for about eight (8) to nine (9) nine years while many documentations were found in very seriously damaged and dilapidated conditions.
The police chief further said that many of the suspects and witnesses in the alleged GIPF saga now reside outside Namibia in neighbouring South Africa, and the investigators had to travel to South Africa on numerous occasions to consult and interview witnesses to obtain the necessary documentations and related information.
However, despite all the above-mentioned difficulties and challenges, Ndeitunga said the investigation team has managed to complete momentous amount of work in the last nine (9) months.
The team is reported to have received and studied over 600 000 documents, analysed over 520 bank accounts and interviewed approximately 200 witnesses.
‘During the nine (9) months of the investigation, several loans with possible criminal conduct as well as possible suspects have been identified. However, the evidence will have to be reviewed by the office of the Prosecutor-General, Olivia Ekandjo-Imalwa, to decide whether criminal charges can be instituted against individuals implicated, ‘ stressed the NamPol head.
The investigations conducted by a Joint Task Team, comprising 15 NamPol investigators and five (5) highly-skilled and experienced forensic experts from South Africa, continue for the next six (6) months.
Last year (2011), close to 1 000 civil servants took to the streets of Windhoek in protest of the squandered millions of Namibian dollars from the GIPF.
The peaceful demonstration was aimed at demanding speedy Government action to stop the financial draining of GIPF’s failed Development Capital Portfolio (DCP) loan scheme.
The demonstrators could, however, not hand over the petition to President Hifikepunye Pohamba as was originally planned, because the Head of State was opening the Third Session of the Fifth Parliament at the same time.
The workers demonstrated against the more than N.dollars 660 million that was dished out to little-known companies, most of which failed to repay their loans.