Suspected fuel smugglers arrested at Ondangwa

Suspected fuel smugglers arrested at Ondangwa

Operation Kalahari, a joint task force between the Namibian Police and Namibian Defence Force, made a breakthrough at Ondangwa when it arrested two suspected fuel smugglers in the early hours of Thursday.
The Crime Investigations Coordinator of the Namibian Police Force (NamPol) in the Oshana Region, Deputy Commissioner Hilja Haipumbu said during a media briefing at the Ondangwa Police Station on Thursday the operation confiscated 70 containers with a combined 1 635 litres of fuel, valued at more than N$22 300, from the arrested suspects.
The breakthrough followed a tip-off from the members of the public.
According to Haipumbu, some of the containers were found hidden in a shack where the suspects were sleeping, while others were found loaded in a Toyota Hilux pick-up and a Toyota Run-X sedan. The two vehicles have also been confiscated to be used as exhibits in court.
“This is an ongoing illegal business. We are appealing to our citizens to refrain from transporting petrol without following legal procedures,” said Haipumbu.
She noted that it is also dangerous and can lead to lives being lost if containers of fuel are stored in a house or residential area.
Although the police investigations to detect the origins of the fuel are still at an early stage, Haipumbu believes it was imported from neighbouring Angola.
She said Oshana NamPol has previously arrested other suspected fuel smugglers in the region, with one of them arrested at Oshikondiilongo village in the Okaku Constituency for being found in possession of 40 containers of smuggled fuel last month.
“This suspect is already awaiting trial,” Haipumbu said.
The latest suspects are due to appear in the Ondangwa Magistrate’s Court on Friday.