June 28, 2002

Ministry of Defence lost millions through fraud?

The Namibian Ministry of Defence is scrambling to recover N$3,1 million which was paid to a foreign military equipment supplier for weapons which were never delivered, The Namibian has established. Nearly a year after the money was transferred to the supplier, the arms have not been delivered. The deal was initially approved by Defence Minister Erkki Nghimtina. In a memo signed in June last year, Nghimtina recommended "the procurement of 10.000 x 60 mm Mortar Bombs for US$ 256 000 (N$ 2,048.000 at that time's exchange rate) and 6.000 x 82 mm Bomb Primers for US$ 76 800 (N$ 614.000) from Harvey Military Supplies Ltd for operational use by the Namibian Defence Force. The offer is lowest and the prices are fair and reasonable."

However, according to information available, instead of Defence officials paying 60 per cent of the price upfront and 40 per cent on delivery, the entire amount was paid in advance.

Documents in possession of The Namibian reveal that on July 16 last year, Defence Permanent Secretary Erastus Negonga requested his Finance counterpart Usutuaije Maamberua to deposit US$ 332.800 (about N$ 3,1 million at the time) in the account of Harvey Military Supplies - a company purportedly based in the Isle of Man but whose account is with the Bank of Cyprus. In some documents the company is named as Harvey Logistics Ltd. Up until today the military equipment has not been delivered to the NDF.

Now, the Registrar of Companies in the Isle of Man, where Harvey Logistics was incorporated, said the company was dissolved on February 5. Namibian Government denied reports that the Ministry of Defence "lost" the money through fraud. (THE NAMIBIAN)


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