15 December 2017

Namibia: West African Immigrants 'Dumped in Sea' Off Namibian Coast

Keetmanshoop — Two foreign nationals were on Tuesday found wandering around Oranjemund's protected diamond area after they were allegedly dumped at sea and left for dead by a Chinese ship.

It is alleged that the two men, Mensah Ebenezer, 30, a Ghanaian national and Degni N'dri Rolano, 28, from Ivory Coast, were trying to make their way to Europe in search of greener pastures when things went wrong, as they were dumped at the sea and left for dead, forcing them to swim to a nearby shore.

The two allegedly boarded a vessel in Ivory Coast's city of Abidjan on November 22 without the consent of the captain of the ship, with intentions to get to Belgium, but the ship was on its way to Namibia.

They managed to hide themselves well as their presence on the ship was not detected, but they reportedly handed themselves over to the captain upon arrival at Walvis Bay and instead of handing them to the police, the captain allegedly locked them up in a hidden room for ten days before they were dumped at the sea at midnight.

Left for dead in the middle of nowhere, the men apparently managed to swim for almost three hours before reaching the Namibian shore, and were found wandering around the mining area by a Namdeb worker, who then alerted the police.

Karas regional crime investigations coordinator Deputy Commissioner Chrispin Mubebo confirmed the incident, saying the two were detained as illegal immigrants. "They were found on the ship at Walvis Bay, but it is only when they got to Oranjemund that they were forcefully thrown into the sea, and they were found near the road asking for help," he said. Mubebo said the two men were lucky to be alive, given the harsh weather conditions on top of the hours they had spent swimming. It was also alleged that while locked up in the room, the two men were not allowed to get out and had to use the same room as a toilet, as they were not allowed to use a proper toilet during their ten-day confinement in there.

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