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IRS: Wesley Snipes in Namibia

JOHANNESBURG – Actor Wesley Snipes , indicted by U.S. authorities for tax fraud this week, is filming a movie in the African country of Namibia which has no extradition treaty with Washington, officials said on Friday.

“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.

Production officials reached at the film set on Friday declined to comment.

U.S. officials in Tampa, Florida, issued a warrant for Snipes’ arrest on an indictment that alleges the 44-year-old actor illegally claimed tax refunds of almost $12 million.

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

It was just months ago that K-Fed was rumored to be checking out Namibia, supposedly inspired by Brangelina’s love of the country. While the story proved to be fake, it did get us thinking about how K-Fed’s sounds compared to the nation’s traditional tunes.

The indictment alleges that Snipes failed to file federal income tax returns from 1999 through 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.

Namibia has no extradition treaty with the United States, a situation spotlighted last month when fugitive U.S. software millionaire Jacob “Kobi” Alexander was discovered to be living in the southwest African country.

U.S. officials said despite the lack of a formal treaty they were nevertheless preparing to ask Namibia for the extradition of Alexander, the former chief and founder of Comverse Technology Inc who is wanted in the United States on charges of manipulating stock options.

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