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Last Updated: Tuesday, 24 October 2006, 08:57 GMT 09:57 UK
'No extradition move' for Snipes
Wesley Snipes
Snipes has played the lead role in three Blade movies
The US has not requested from Namibia the extradition of actor Wesley Snipes, wanted on tax fraud charges, according to the African country's government.

Lidwina Shapwa, Ministry of Justice permanent secretary, told Reuters news agency there had been no communication from the US on the issue.

Mr Snipes is on the set of a film, Gallowwalker, in the Namibian desert.

He is accused in the US of failing to file tax returns and falsely claiming nearly $12m (6.4m) in refunds.

Gallowwalker producer Joanne Reay told the Associated Press news agency: "We are shooting and we are continuing to shoot.

"We are aware of the issue around the tax charges but we are not discussing it."

The Namibia Film Commission said Mr Snipes had been in the country since August.

Namibia has no extradition treaty with the US.

A US arrest warrant was issued for the star last week, and prosecutors said he faced up to 16 years in jail if found guilty.

'Conspiracy to defraud'

The charges allege Mr Snipes failed to file tax returns between 1999 and 2004, and conspired with two men to defraud the Internal Revenue Service (IRS), which collects taxes in the US.

Prosecutors say Eddie Kahn and Douglas Rosile, both from Florida, attempted to make it look like the actor had no liability for income tax.

Mr Kahn's firm, American Rights Litigators, is said to have fraudulently argued that US citizens could only be taxed on income earned overseas.

Mr Rosile, who was an accountant for the firm, is accused of illegally preparing tax returns for Mr Snipes on this basis.

He has surrendered to authorities while Mr Kahn is believed to be in Panama.

Mr Snipes, who was born in Orlando, Florida, has been a Hollywood actor for 20 years.

His first role was in Goldie Hawn's 1986 American football comedy, Wildcats, and he later appeared in the video for Michael Jackson's Bad, which was directed by Martin Scorsese.

The actor also appeared in hit films such as White Men Can't Jump, New Jack City and the Blade trilogy.

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