Namibia: SME Bank Saga Drags On

A close corporation whose sole member has been linked to the former finance manager of the Small and Medium Enterprises Bank received at least N$5,5 million from the bank without having any loan agreement with it.

This is one of the statements contained in an affidavit in which one of the provisional liquidators of the SME Bank, David Bruni, has asked the High Court to order that the close corporation Omulunga Capital Investments should be liquidated because of the unpaid debt it has with the bank.

Acting judge Kaijata Kangueehi granted an interim order for the liquidation of the close corporation in the Windhoek High Court on Friday. The order is in effect until 18 October at this stage.

The bank’s provisional liquidators have taken legal action against numerous people and corporate entities owing money to the bank, but Omulunga Capital Investments CC is the first entity which they have targeted for liquidation.

In an affidavit filed at the court, Bruni says an investigation carried out after he and fellow provisional liquidator Ian McLaren were put in charge of the SME Bank in July 2017 has shown that between December 2013 and February 2017, at least N$247 million was transferred directly from two accounts that the bank held at Standard Bank Namibia and First National Bank of Namibia to recipients in South Africa.

That amount of at least N$247 million was stolen from the SME Bank, Bruni charges.

He also says that one of the recipients of the money stolen from the SME Bank was a close corporation registered in South Africa under the name Asset Movement and Financial Services (AMFS). About N$79,8 million of the money stolen from the SME Bank was transferred to an account of AMFS from May 2015 to August 2016, and from that account, large amounts of money were paid to several recipients in South Africa, Namibia and elsewhere.

Omulunga was one of those recipients, Bruni says.

He informed the court that the sole registered member of Omulunga is a Zimbabwean citizen, Cosmas Mushininga. When Mushininga applied to open an account at the SME Bank on 28 January 2016, he gave an address in Kleine Kuppe, Windhoek, as his physical address, and in a declaration accompanying his application also stated that SME Bank finance manager Joseph Banda was his next of kin.

The same address in Windhoek that Mushininga gave to the bank as being his, was also the address where Banda lived, according to Bruni.

He also informed the court that on 27 January 2016 – a day before Mushininga applied to open an account for Omulunga at the SME Bank – AMFS transferred an amount of N$7,07 million to the SME Bank, with a payment instruction reflecting that the money was meant for Omulunga.

On 29 January 2016, N$3,03 million was similarly transferred from AMFS to the SME Bank for Omulunga, while an additional N$6,06 million followed on 3 February 2016, and AMFS also transferred N$10 million to the SME Bank for Omulunga on 20 May 2016, Bruni recounted.

A total amount of N$26,16 million that had been transferred by AMFS was received into Omulunga’s account at the SME Bank, and of that amount, N$25,66 million was in turn transferred to a company in Dubai, Auliol Global DMCC, Bruni stated.

He also recounted that the N$5,5 million that Omulunga owes the SME Bank was transferred to an account that the close corporation has with the bank on 28 January 2017.

At that time, according to Bruni, the SME Bank’s external auditors had made it clear that they were not going to sign off the bank’s annual financial statements, and it was clear that the Bank of Namibia was going to intervene by taking control of the bank’s management.

Bruni further stated that in a search of the bank’s records, no documents could be found to confirm that a written loan agreement had been entered into between the SME Bank and Omulunga. Mushininga’s close corporation has also failed to repay any part of the N$5,5 million to the bank, Bruni said.

The application to have Omulunga liquidated was delivered to the close corporation’s registered address – the same address that it shared with the SME Bank’s Joseph Banda – on 19 August. Omulunga did not give any indication that it wanted to oppose the liquidation application.


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Author: skvaller

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