WINDHOEK - A former officer of the Namibian police (Nampol) who is part of a gang that deals in fake diamonds was arrested by Nampol last week. Three of his group members were arrested by the City Police two weeks ago after impersonating police officers and a magistrate and extorting N$38 000 from an elderly man. This was after planting fake diamonds in his vehicle when asking for a ride.
According to Khomas regional commander Commissioner Joseph Shikongo, the former police constable, Johannes Joel Mathews, 35, also known as Chaka, was arrested at his shack in Havana last Tuesday and was found in possession of many stones resembling diamonds.
Shikongo said Mathews, who was discharged from the force, was also found in possession of a police uniform, reflective jacket, police day stamp, appointment certificate, 50 rounds of ammunition and three sets of handcuffs. New Era further learnt that about 50 search warrants, various people’s identity documents, police dockets and accident reports were also found at Chaka’s shack.
Shikongo said Mathews faces charges of impersonating a police officer, possession of stolen property, possession of ammunition without a licence and extortion.
Shikongo said Chaka was suspended from the force for absenteeism and criminal activities. While on suspension, cases of extortion, theft and impersonating a police officer were opened against him.
“He (Mathews) was first suspended then he was found guilty and discharged from the force,” added Shikongo.
Mathews appeared in the Katutura Magistrate’s Court on Thursday and was denied bail. His case was postponed to November 20. He remains in police custody.
The police also arrested Mathews’ ally, a former NDF member at his house in Shandumbala.
Khomas regional crime investigations coordinator, Deputy Commissioner Abner Agas told New Era that the ex-NDF member was not charged and not linked to any crime against other persons. “So, he was released for now,” Agas said.
Police say four cases amounting to N$91 000 have been opened by various victims against the four men.
Agas explained that the fraudsters would approach person(s) to help them interpret a certain language for them and allow them to keep the ‘diamonds’.
He said after this the fraudsters would ask the person money amounting to N$100 000 which the fraudsters would allegedly refund once the ‘diamonds’ were sold.
Agas added that if the person did not have the required amount, they could give whatever amount they had. “The person will keep the diamonds waiting for the buyer. One of the fraudsters will remain behind with the person but will later tell the person that he is going to buy cooldrink, and then disappear,” stated Agas.
City Police spokesperson Fabian Amukwelele said that despite incidences of former law enforcement members impersonating police officers, the public should not lose trust in the police and continue working hand in hand with them.
“In situations where the public are in doubt, they should verify by calling our office number 061 302302,” further said Amukwelele
2019-07-22 10:35:26 28 days ago