The Namibian (Windhoek)

10 January 2013

Namibia: Traffic Chief Not Guilty of Beer Theft

NAFTALI Aebeb (48), who is the chief of the Otjiwarongo traffic unit, has been acquitted on a charge of theft after he was accused of stealing two crates of beer.

Aebeb was arrested in July 2011 for allegedly stealing two crates of beer from a Castle Breweries truck at the police station at night.

"I want my name to be cleared since I was found not guilty on the charge of theft in October last year," said Aebeb.

He explained that he was a victim of an unfortunate event after he gave a lift to a stranger at the junction to Okakarara. Aebeb said that he was on his way to the police station when he picked up the stranger who accompanied him.

Aebeb said he parked next to the truck.

"I got out and the stranger stayed behind in the car. It was in this time that he got out of the car and took the crates from the truck. When I returned I was unaware of the beer in my car. On my way to drop the passenger off, I quickly stopped over at my house, because I had a bad case of diarrhoea. I left the passenger in the car to wait for me. When I came out of the house, he was gone. So I decided to go back into the house. The next morning I discovered the crates in my car and went back to the station to see if the man will return to claim the beer," said Aebeb.

He said it was then that the truck driver who had discovered the crates were missing, approached the internal investigation unit to report the theft.

"I was then called in by the unit and went to the duty station with the beer in my car. It was still sealed. They confiscated the beer and the truck driver opened a case of theft against me," Aebeb explained.

According to Aebeb, he did not get the name of the stranger he offered the lift and because it was at night, he could also not clearly recall what he looked like.

"It is difficult to say, but he was average built and looked in his late fifties," he said.

Aebeb appeared in the Otjiwarongo Magistrate's Court following the incident and made a final appearance on October 19 when he was found not guilty and acquitted on the charge.

Aebeb has resumed duty since his suspension.

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