Snipes in Namibia out of reach of US authorities

ACTOR Wesley Snipes, who was indicted by US authorities for tax fraud this week, is filming a movie in the African country of Namibia, which has no extradition treaty with Washington, officials revealed yesterday.

“It is confirmed. He is definitely here,” Edwin Kanguatjivi, chief executive officer of the Namibia Film Commission, said.

“He has been in Namibia since the end of August,” Mr Kanguatjivi said.

Snipes, the star of the Blade movie series, is the lead actor in a new film, entitled Gallowwalker, being shot 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.

Production officials at the film set yesterday declined to comment.

US officials in Tampa, Florida, issued a warrant for Snipes’s arrest on an indictment that alleges the 44-year-old actor illegally claimed tax refunds of almost $12 million (€9.5m).

Snipes, who has appeared in more than three dozen films, including Jungle Fever, White Men Can’t Jump, Rising Sun and US Marshals, could face 16 years in prison if convicted on all charges.

The indictment alleges Snipes failed to file federal income tax returns from 1999 to 2004 and conspired with two accomplices to file two amended returns for Snipes for 1996 and 1997, fraudulently claiming tax refunds of almost $12 million.

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