Public warned of fake search warrants

Windhoek-Former magistrate Ruth Herunga has cautioned the public to be on the lookout for impersonators using her signature, following the surfacing of a fake search warrant bearing her forged signature that was reportedly used by former police officers.

Fake search warrants were used to search the residence of Rehoboth East Constituency Councillor Edward Wambo last week and a certain Usira Mutjavikua residence in Wanaheda in January.

Of the five men who have been arrested and appeared in the Rehoboth Magistrate's Court on Tuesday, two are former police officers: Joseph Nauta, 25, who was attached to the Katutura police station crime investigation unit and Stephanus Kabono, 28, from Klein Windhoek police station.

Kabono is currently on suspension on unspecified charges. The three other suspects are Nepando Willem, 29, Michael

Xamseb, 25, and 39-year-old Eric Noariseb. Their case was postponed to August 14. They appeared on four charges of impersonating police officers, theft of a police docket, fraud and uttering, and conspiracy to commit a crime.

Given the above, Herunga warned the public of the scam.

They (the public) must be careful and first verify. In any event, they should be on the lookout. I left the magistracy in 2016 and I don't have any authorisation to sign any search warrants. If they see my name on piece of paper they must know that it is fake, said Herunga

She said the reason her name is used is probably because she is no longer employed there and because was responsible for issuing warrants. No one will query that since I am no longer there, she said.

Police spokesperson deputy commissioner Edwin Kanguativi told New Era the suspects visited the residence of Wambo in Rehoboth and introduced themselves as police officers, who were investigating a burglary complaint at the councillor's house.

Kanguatjivi said the suspects were informed that Wambo was not home and left. He said the woman at Wambo's home noticed the vehicle had no registration number and contacted the Rehoboth police. The vehicle was then stopped at a mini-road block on the B1 road between Rehoboth and Windhoek.

After searching the vehicle, a police case docket and two fake search warrants with stamps of Katutura police charge office was found in the vehicle. All five suspects were arrested and detained at Rehoboth police cells, he confirmed.

Source: New Era Newspaper Namibia