Eba Kandovazu

THE Windhoek High court this morning granted Ricardo Gustavo, one of the men implicated in Namibia’s biggest fishing corruption scandal infamously known as Fishrot, bail.

Gustavo was granted bail of N$800 000, by Judge Herman Oosthuizen.

He had initially suggested house arrest, saying that he would provide the Police with the necessary technology to track his movements. He also offered to wear a GPS bracelet, at his own expense. Judge Oosthuizen, upon granting the offer ordered that the State shall at its own cost fix a personal GPS to monitor the accused 24 hour, and his personal vehicles.

It has also been ordered that Gustavo must not leave the Finkenstein Estate, which is fenced off, unless accompanied by one or more investigation officers of the Anti-Corruption Commission (ACC). Another bail condition is that he reports himself twice daily to the Kappsfarm Police Station.

The 44 year old suspect during his bail application indicated that he is a father of five children, who currently depend on family members and his friends who ‘believe in his innocence’. He also testified that his elderly parents also depended on him before his arrest. Gustavo is accused by the State of owning Namgomar Pesca Namibia, a subsidiary of Namgomar Pesca Limitada, which is owned by disgraced former Fisheries Minister of Angola, Victoria de Barros, and her son.

Gustavo denied that he had shares in the company, saying he was instead employed as Director. A former Senior Manager at Investec Asset Management, Gustavo also told the court that his health deteriorated whilst in custody, adding that he, at some point, was “recklessly exposed” to the Coronavirus. According to him, his medical aid situation as a result of his arrest also changed.

Namgomar pesca Namibia is accused of receiving N$38 million from Samherji, the biggest Icelandic fishing company at the centre of the Fishrot scandal. The State is charging that N$31 million of the initial payment was shared amongst the suspects.