Veteran lawyer jailed over MVA Fund fraud

Acting judge Alvin Simpson sentenced former Ondangwa-based lawyer Arumugam Thambapilai (77) to 10 years' imprisonment, of which four years were suspended for a period of five years, on four counts of fraud, charges of forgery and uttering, and a count of attempting to defeat or obstruct the course of justice. Three former clients of Thambapilai's law firm were also sentenced by Simpson in connection with their involvement in fraudulent claims which were submitted to the MVA Fund through the law firm from June 2000 to September 2005. Linda Shipalanga and Festus Shindume were both sentenced to an effective prison term of four years. A former police officer, Onesmus Sheehama, who fabricated a road accident report which was used in support of a fraudulent MVA Fund claim of N$2,8 million, was sentenced to pay a fine of N$40 000 or serve a jail term of four years. Thambapilai and his co-accused were acquitted on all charges in December 2015, more than five years after their trial started in the High Court. The state appealed against that verdict, and in October last year the Supreme Court overturned the acquittals, replaced it with convictions and referred the matter back to the High Court for sentencing. Thambapilai was first arrested and charged in December 2005. More in our next edition.

Veteran lawyer jailed over MVA Fund fraud
Acting judge Alvin Simpson sentenced former Ondangwa-based lawyer Arumugam Thambapilai (77) to 10 years' imprisonment, of which four years were suspended for a period of five years, on four counts of fraud, charges of forgery and uttering, and a count of attempting to defeat or obstruct the course of justice. Three former clients of Thambapilai's law firm were also sentenced by Simpson in connection with their involvement in fraudulent claims which were submitted to the MVA Fund through the law firm from June 2000 to September 2005. Linda Shipalanga and Festus Shindume were both sentenced to an effective prison term of four years. A former police officer, Onesmus Sheehama, who fabricated a road accident report which was used in support of a fraudulent MVA Fund claim of N$2,8 million, was sentenced to pay a fine of N$40 000 or serve a jail term of four years. Thambapilai and his co-accused were acquitted on all charges in December 2015, more than five years after their trial started in the High Court. The state appealed against that verdict, and in October last year the Supreme Court overturned the acquittals, replaced it with convictions and referred the matter back to the High Court for sentencing. Thambapilai was first arrested and charged in December 2005. More in our next edition.