11 June 2019

Namibia: Defiant Law Enforcers Arrested

A Namibian Defence Force member and a police officer were among five people arrested on Sunday for obstructing police in their work over the weekend.

Khomas regional crime investigations coordinator, deputy commissioner Abner Agas confirmed the arrests during a press briefing in Windhoek yesterday.

The duo and the three civilians were charged for defeating or obstructing the course of justice after they allegedly refused to submit themselves to a body search, and instead fought members of the police-led 'Operation Kalahari Desert'.

The suspects are Tobias Shapaka (36) and Sakaria Muthilitha (43), who are members of the Namibian Police and the Namibian Defence Force (NDF), respectively.

The civilians are 32-year-old Sakeus Kuume and David Newawa (29). The identity of the third civilian could not be established.

They appeared in the Katutura Magistrate's Court yesterday, and were released on N$800 bail each.

Their case was postponed to 3 October for further police investigations.

Agas said the operation had achieved various degrees of success in the region between Thursday and Sunday last week.

A total of 18 robbery cases were reported to the police, in which six people were arrested and items valued at N$4 210 recovered.

He said other cases the police dealt with involved theft, housebreaking, robbery, assault with intent to cause grievous bodily harm, drug-related offences and domestic violence.

Agas explained that 11 people were arrested after being found in possession of cannabis with a street value of N$1 040. There were 35 theft cases, with six arrests, but the police are yet to recover the stolen items.

A further 57 people were arrested for outstanding warrants for traffic offences, while 14 unlicensed drivers were issued tickets for fines totalling N$14 000. At the briefing, members of the operation displayed dangerous weapons and other items which were confiscated during their patrols, including firearms allegedly used for illegal hunting, and pistols seized during body searches. Khomas regional commander Joseph Shikongo stressed that no one is above the law in Namibia.

Speaking about the dangerous weapons on display, he said the police will only seize weapons from someone they have reason to suspect.

A specific scenario, he pointed out, was of people who carry pistols to shebeens.

Shikongo said the police will also work hard to ensure that foreigners enter Namibia legally.

"When the operation finds them (illegal foreigners), obviously we are going to arrest them. We are not going to spare them," he stressed.

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