Unapologetic forex traders hauled for violating bail conditions

Obrein Simasiku

The Prosecutor General has slapped forex traders turned politicians Michael Amushelelo and his co-accused associate, Gregory Cloete, with a final warning for the violation of their bail conditions. They are on bail of N$35 000 each, over charges relating to a N$17 million suspected ponzi scheme they operated since 2015 until their arrest in October 2019.

In a notice to their Lawyer Kadhila Amoomo, the Prosecutor General’s Chief Legal Clerk, issued a final warning to the duo, saying that they allegedly violated condition number 3 of their bail, which requires them to seek ‘prior authorization’ from the investigating officer before leaving the district of Windhoek. Instead Amushelo and Cloete, sent WhatsApp text messages to the investigating officer, indicating that they left Windhoek. “Good morning, I hereby inform you that I have left the district of Windhoek this morning to attend an urgent matter outside the district of Windhoek. I will be back in the evening,”

“Kindly take note that, failure to desist from this behaviour will result in your clients being arrested without any further warning, and an application for revocation of their bail being made forthwith,” charged the prosecutor general’s office.

The violations were allegedly committed on 5 and 12 April this year. These dates coincide with the trips undertaken by duo through their newly joined party Namibia Economic Freedom Fighter (NEFF) participating in advocacy work against companies not complying to the Labour Act in the Otjozondjupa and Erongo regions. Amushelelo and Cloete joined NEFF in March 2022.

The two are awaiting trial on 365 counts of fraud, alternatively theft by false pretences, conducting banking business without authorisation, tax evasion, tax fraud, money laundering and racketeering. They are charged under the Banking Institutions Act, for running an illegal organisation without authorisation. According to reports, the accused lured members of the public to sign agreements, whereupon they would invest N$5 000 or more for a 50 percent return on investment over a period of two to four months. They operated under companies Amushe Hello Investment, Amushe Advertising & Design, Amushe International Holding, Van Der Walt Trailer Manufacturing, Amushelelo Family Trust and Global Growth Investment Namibia – some of these entities were not registered.

Come Arrest Me On Friday, Amushelelo took to his social media Facebook page, in which he reacted strongly and unapologetic, while challenging the authorities to apprehend him as he feared nothing. “I will be at my office the whole day, waiting for them to arrest me.”

“The aim is to silence me and not be there to fight for the poor and the downtrodden. The political elites are busy at work to continue their dirty dealings in the oppression of our people,” he fumed, further arguing that since being granted bail in October 2019 he has never broken any bail condition.

Further in his defence, Amushelelo said, he works in an unprecedented haphazard environment, arguing that his political work sometimes requires him to leave the district of Windhoek early in the morning on an urgent basis. “As a result I cannot seek authorization at 04h00 AM in the morning from the investigating officer because his office will be closed. I always notify the investigating officer about my movements,” he states.

“Also note that I am Namibian with no other business interests in other countries.

I don’t have the means to flee this country or run away because the corrupt regime has frozen my bank accounts and seized my assets since 2019 when I attempted to establish my own political party People Organised Working for Economic Reality (POWER)” he stressed.

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