Three alleged gem thieves set free

WINDHOEK: Three out of four men implicated in one of the largest diamond robberies in Namibian history were provisionally set free today.

The trio are former Namdeb Diamond Corporation employees Petrus Nujoma Kapia, 35, Amon Ndjukuma, 40, and 35-year-old Elvis Nixon Tangeni Kalipi.

This was upon a request by the State after it became clear that the Namibian Police’s investigating officers in the alleged diamond robbery case are unable to trace their co-accused, 34-year-old Gabriel Namupolo.

Namupolo, who is believed to be a key suspect in the matter, has been on the run since 20 January this year, and his absence forced the prosecution team led by Deputy Prosecutor-General Antonia Verhoef not to continue with the trial until such time that the investigating officers bring him before court.

Meanwhile, all charges levelled against the three men revolving around some 1 692 carats of unpolished diamonds, valued at N.dollars 6,23 million, were also provisionally withdrawn upon the request of the State.

High Court Judge Nate Ndauendapo also informed them that the charges will be reinstated against them once the police trace the fugitive.

All four men are accused of involvement in an alleged armed robbery in which mining gravel containing some 1 692 carats of unpolished diamonds, valued at N.dollars 6,23 million, was allegedly stolen at Namdeb’s Daberas Mine along the Orange River in the Oranjemund district on 10 November 2003.

SOURCE: NAMPA