Suspected fuel smugglers arrested at Ondangwa

Operation Kalahari, a joint task force between the Namibian Police and Namibia Defence Force, made a break-through at Ondangwa by arresting two suspected fuel dealers at the town in the early hours on Thursday.

Crime Investigation Coordinator of the Namibian Police Force (NamPol) in the Oshana Region, Deputy Commissioner Hilja Haipumbu said this during a media briefing held at Ondangwa Police Station here on Thursday.

Haipumbu said the force confiscated 70 containers of combined 1 635 litres, valued at more than N.dollars 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 still loaded in a Toyota Hilux Pick-up and a Toyota Runx sedan.

The two vehicles have also been confiscated to be an exhibit in court. This is an ongoing illegal business and such, 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 cause loss of lives to store containers of fuel in a house or residential area.

Although the Police investigation to detect the origin of the fuel is still at early stage, Haipumbu believes it has been imported from neighbouring Angola.

She said Oshana NamPol has pervious 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 final trail, Haipumbu cited. The latest suspects (those arrested on Thursday) are due to appear in the Ondangwa Magistrate's Court on Friday.

Source: Namibia Press Agency