Namibia: Bogus Cops Extort Money Over Fake Diamonds

Windhoek — Windhoek City Police arrested three men who allegedly impersonated police officers and a magistrate last Thursday.

They allegedly extorted N$38 000 from an elderly man when they apparently planted fake diamonds in his vehicle after asking him for transport.

The men, who are believed to be operating in different groups, called the elderly man requesting for more money - stating the money they initially got from him was not enough.

According to the victim, who preferred to remain anonymous, the young men told him they were many and needed to pay a magistrate and prosecutor to make his case vanish.

However, the victim, 55, who holds a managerial position at his workplace and runs a business on the side, caught wind after the phone call last Wednesday and decided to inform the City Police.

City Police spokesperson Fabian Amukwelele confirmed the incident and said the case of theft under false pretence was opened. He said the suspects, aged 37, 41, and 43 are old clients. He stated that one of the suspects is a former police officer in Nampol. "They are known to us. We were not able to recover the money but investigation is on-going," said Amukwelele, adding that impersonating a police officer is a serious crime.

The victim narrated that a young man approached him while standing at his work place early last week in northern industrial. He said the man gave him the cellphone to speak to the caller on the other end as he could not understand Oshiwambo. The young man had an envelope which allegedly had N$4000 cash, the victim said. The caller on the other hand asked the elderly man to drop the young man at Katutura hospital and promised to give him N$300.

The victim said he then drove to Katutura State Hospital to drop the young man but when he got there, the caller, got in his car asking to be dropped at the bank at Katutura Shoprite.

The victim said at Katutura Shoprite, the man with an envelope got out of the car, stating he is going in the bank.

The remaining man asked to be dropped at Single Quarters where he would pay the elderly man as he did not have money on him. But at Single Quarters, two other men got in his vehicle upon his arrival. The victim said the passenger he came with from the hospital told him the two men who got on the car are Angolan nationals and needed a lift to their bed and breakfast accommodation facility.

"I didn't get the money I was supposed to get. I was frustrated. I am no more helping because these people are now forcing things, remarked the elderly man who in any case drove to drop of the men in his vehicle.

It was when the elderly man was about to drop the last passenger in Windhoek north when a metallic Mercedes Benz pulled up on his vehicle, claiming to be police and searched his vehicle and discovered the diamonds which were nicely wrapped. He said the alleged cops wore civilian clothes.

"They told me the diamonds are from Angola and will hand me to Interpol. I will go to court and (police) will fly me to Angola, "said the victim adding the fake cops asked he give them money not to be locked up.

The fake cops drove the victim to the bank in Klein Windhoek to withdraw N$33000. The bogus cops warned him not to try tricks or alert anyone as they will go after his wife and children.

The victim had 5000 in his vehicle which the fake cops also took.

Last week Wednesday, the elderly received several calls from different people asking for more money. "When I got the call, I decide to open the case, its like they are three groups, they would tell me don't talk to anyone, the other guys are fake police officer then they will call again and tell me they have someone at MTC and my calls are recorded and know who I am talking to,"narrated the victim. It was after this that he informed the police.

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