The Hardap police commander says the region is disturbed by high drug abuse as drug dealers have gone to the extent of recruiting police officers to act as their agents and to tip them off when operations are planned.
Commissioner Sydney Philander accused some police officers of abusing drugs and being indebted to drug dealers. In June, a 30-year-old female teacher was arrested in Rehoboth for the possession of 2 417 Mandrax tablets, valued at N$290 040.
In addition, drug dealers in Rehoboth have advanced in their criminal activities by recruiting unemployed youth, learners and lately elderly women as runners/peddlers to make drugs more accessible in the streets and schools.
“It is also known to us that some police officers are abusing drugs and are indebted to the drug dealers, which is the reason why they are being used by the dealers”.
The region has since last year recorded about 101 drug-related cases, of which 138 suspects have since been arrested and charged.
“The quantities mentioned today are much less than what is available in the market. Therefore, more has to be done to make a bigger impact against the illegal distribution of drugs in the region,” noted Philander.
He thus called on fellow police officers to work hard with the available resources to outsmart the drug dealers. “It is worth mentioning that cases were registered in the region as follows: on 16 March 2022, a 24-year-old male was arrested in Mariental with 24 parcels of skunk (cannabis), and two parcels and 20 ballies of pure cannabis valued at N$212 650. On 21 June 2022, a 30-year-old teacher was arrested in Rehoboth with 2 417 full Mandrax tablets, with a street value of N$290 040,” he explained.
N$386 520 worth of cannabis was also confiscated.
“A total of 2 943 Mandrax tablets were seized, valued at N$353 160, and 31 crack cocaine units were seized with a total value of N$3 100”.
The commissioner said some of the perpetrators who were previously arrested are back in society because they paid admission of guilt fines as first offenders for lesser quantities of drugs.
More than 500 men, women and children have been arrested in connection with drug-related crimes around the country between 2019 and 2022, and the value of the drugs confiscated is N$11.9 million.
According to Namibian Police deputy inspector general for operations, Joseph Shikongo, 525 suspects were arrested in connection with drug-related crimes such as cannabis, skunk, Mandrax and crack cocaine.
“Out of 525 suspects arrested, 393 are males, 79 are females and 53 are male juveniles,” stated Shikongo.
The officers made these remarks during the police’s drug awareness campaign in Rehoboth on Saturday.
“Crime negatively impacts our day-to-day activities and the economy at large. It will be appreciated if the youth of Namibia can take a step to join hands with NamPol in the fight against crime. In that case, all your efforts will be applauded by all peace-loving Namibians,” noted Shikongo.
He added that crime prevention is not only the responsibility of the police, as perceived by some members of the community, but it is the responsibility of all able-bodied persons in the country.
Philander said it is befitting that the campaign was hosted in a region that has become the hotspot for crimes.
“According to the region’s crime statistics of 2021-2022, alcohol and drug abuse were identified as the major contributing factors to crimes such as common assault, assault with the intent to cause grievous bodily harm, and rape,” he explained.
Other serious crimes such as housebreaking with the intent to steal, theft and robbery are also concerns in Rehoboth.
Philander indicated that it has been proven that addicted persons commit these types of crimes to acquire the financial means to sustain their daily needs.