UNDERGROUND diamond deals in New York have landed 2Pac Bar owner and ‘gemmologist’ Simon Andjamba as well as the First Secretary of the Namibian Mission to the United Nations in rough water after Andjamba allegedly defrauded a prominent US businessman and his associates of US$138,000 in a diamond deal.
Affidavits in possession of Informanté show that an American car dealer, Damien Billart, who is a merchandiser of Popular Ford in Manhattan and two of his colleagues, Robert Urrutia and Jude Aseigbu, a Nigerian national, are preparing to file charges against Andjamba and Nomsa Uushona, a Ministry of Foreign Affairs official based at the Namibian Mission in New York.
Andjamba and Uushona, both shebeen owners in Windhoek’s Katutura suburbs are alleged to have colluded in siphoning close to a N$1 million from the American businessman. Andjamba is also a bulk distributor for a leading cellular network in Namibia.
Billart and Urrutia, who are at an advanced stage of filing charges against the businessman, claim to have paid Andjamba US$138,000 in cash after he was introduced to them as a gem trader by Uushona, the First Secretary in charge of Social and Humanitarian affairs at the Namibian Mission to the UN.
“We want to confirm that the person we gave our money to is Simon Andjamba, and then we will file our case in the High Court of Namibia. Once we confirm his identity, we will start the process. We want him to pay for what he did,” Aseigbu said.
The two, represented by their New York based lawyer Jeffrey Miller of Jeffrey Miller & Associates, P.C are in the process of filing fraud charges against Andjamba and possibly Uushona in the Namibian High Court after consulting the Namibian Ambassador to the United Nations.
“Please take note that the law firm Jeffrey Miller & Associates, P.C, is retained by Damien Billart, Robert A. Urrutia and Jude Aseigbu in a case against a Namibian citizen believed to be Simon Andjamba,” Billart’s attorney Jeffrey Miller said in an affidavit obtained by Informanté.
“This affidavit supplements my client’s initial complaint to Dr. Kaire Mbuenda of the Namibian Mission to the United Nations in this matter. On July 7th 2008, my clients were defrauded by an individual who they believe to be Simon Andjamba of the sum of $130,000,00 USD,” Miller said.
The money was apparently paid to Andjamba as payment for an undisclosed amount of diamonds believed to have been brought from Namibia.
“Mr. Andjamba was introduced to my clients by Ms. Uushona of the Namibian Mission in New York as a gem trader in good standing,” Miller continued.
“That Ms. Uushona acted in her personal and official capacity in this matter and should have known that my clients would be defrauded. My clients are seeking restitution.”
When contacted for comment on his role in the diamond deal, Andjamba, declined to comment, saying he was in a meeting. He referred questions to his lawyer Sisa Namandje, who could not be reached for comment by the time of going to press.
According to Billart and Aseigbu, Andjamba has not communicated to them since the deal went wrong in July.
Uushona confirmed to Informanté that the Namibian citizen accused of defrauding Billart and his associates is indeed Simon Andjamba, and admitted that she gave Andjamba’s number to Billart’s Nigerian associate Aseigbu.
“What does he mean defrauded? I just gave Simon Andjamba’s number to Jude, that’s all. The issue is being sorted out by the ambassador. I have to discuss the matter with the ambassador so that it can be dealt with at that level,” said Uushona,
“We introduce people to Namibian markets all the time and for me this is a business deal that has gone wrong, I had nothing to do with the diamond deal.”
Namibia’s Ambassador to the United Nations Kaire Mbuende confirmed that he had received complaints from Aseigbu and Billart, but said he had not received anything in writing.
“I have asked them to write a letter so that we can look into whether it is just a business dispute or a criminal matter so that we direct them to the appropriate authorities. I am still waiting for the letter,” said Mbuende.
Foreign Affairs Spokesperson Isac Hamata said the Ministry had not received any reports about the alleged fraud, but confirmed that Uushona was based in New York.