DealBreaker might need to set up a Namibian branch office if things keep up like this.
Today Reuters reported that Wesley Snipes—indicted earlier this week for tax fraud—is in Namibia. You remember that place right? It’s the semi-desert African country where Kobi Alexander was discovered, arrested and eventually bailed out of jail to await his extradition treaty.
Can this really be happening? Why Namibia (a country we only really had heard of as the place where Angelina Jolie and Brad Pitt went to hatch their offspring)? At first blush, Namibia seems like a good place to flee. It doesn’t have an extradition treaty with the US, it’s got some fancy resorts and sports lots of European and Israeli ex-pats to pal around with.
Unfortunately for the fugitive types, its also got a government eager to keep the US happy. After Kobi Alexander was discovered there, the country quickly passed a law permitting extradition of alleged criminals wanted in the US.
So why did Snipes stick around when it became apparent that Namibia probably wouldn’t shield him from the long arm of US law enforcement? Well, it seems that he’s not there hiding out at all. He’s filming a movie!
"It is confirmed. He is definitely here," Edwin Kanguatjivi, chief executive officer of the Namibia Film Commission, said by telephone. "He has been in Namibia since the end of August."
Snipes, the star of the "Blade" movie series, is the lead actor in a new movie entitled "Gallowwalker" filming in the Namibian desert near the town of Swakopmund -- the same coastal resort where Hollywood superstars Angelina Jolie and Brad Pitt had their first child in May.
We’re not sure this is entirely plausible. So Snipes just happened to be hanging out in a country with no extradition treaty when his indictment came down? A little convenient, no?
“It will be interesting to see whether he waives extradition proceedings or fights it. That may hint at whether he was there as a fugitive or there for other reasons,” we were told by DealBreaker’s favorite extradition law expert, Douglas McNabb of McNabb Associates.
Indicted U.S. actor Snipes in Namibia: officials [Reuters via the Ka-Ching! blog]