Cases of smuggled alcohol continue to increase, with most of the contraband being confiscated, while some of the alcohol passes undetected through scores of roadblocks erected countywide as part of coronavirus enforcement measures.
The smuggling of alcohol into the country is in breach of Regulation 7 that prohibits the sale of alcohol during the existing state of the emergency.
Khomas police regional commander Commissioner Joseph Shikongo on Tuesday revealed the police confiscated huge consignments of alcohol in Windhoek’s Pionierspark suburb over the long Africa Day weekend.
The alcohol, worth thousands of dollars, was reportedly sourced from Okahandja.
“We arrested three suspects in Windhoek along Hendrick Witbooi Drive. They were driving pickups. They confirmed that they bought the alcohol in Okahandja. I am not sure if they passed the roadblock. Investigation in the matter continues,” Shikongo said.
Those implicated were arrested in the wee hours on Monday, and they all paid a fine of N$2 000. The police seized all the alcohol sourced from Okahandja.
In another related matter, the police arrested one suspect at the Windhoek-Okahandja roadblock after he was found in possession of 37 bottles of whiskey. Last week alone, the police arrested 49 suspects in connection with selling and transporting alcohol illegally. Shikongo said more than N$6 000 fine was paid and N$38 000 is still outstanding. However, he dismissed allegations made against the members of the police that they are consuming alcohol they confiscate from members of the public.
According to him, all items, including confiscated alcohol, are recorded and kept safe in police custody. Meanwhile, Oshikoto police regional commander Armas Shivute said smuggling of alcohol at Oshivelo roadblock is a major concern.
He said travellers from the north are smuggling alcohol out of the region to Windhoek or elsewhere.
Shivute said the police confiscate all sorts of alcohol but whiskey is the most illegally smuggled into Namibia from Angola.
He mentioned that suspects are both men and women, and some even go to the extend of stripping alcohol around their body in an attempt to hide it.
Equally, he noted, others even hide the booze in the vehicle bonnets.
He also said some drivers are often trapped into illegally transporting alcohol, as they are given parcels not knowing their content when passing roadblocks.
“I have instructed all my station commanders to ensure service delivery is not compromised. We confiscate the alcohol and keep it in police custody. Suspects are fined N$2 000 each for breaking the state of the emergency regulations,” Shivute reiterated.
In terms of adherence to social distancing, Shivute said it remains a challenge, especially during funerals.
He explained some family members are so large that a parent who may have passed on can have more than 10 children who all wish to attend the funeral.
However, he said, they cannot prohibit people from mourning their loved ones, so the police normally go there and ensure there is social distancing.
Moreover, Ohangwena crime investigations coordinator Zachariah Amakali said alcohol smuggling is also in the increase, especially the whiskey coming from Angola.
“Oshikango border is closed but people are buying these contrabands from Angolans near the open border and bring them into Namibia. This is difficult to control because of the unfenced borders between Namibia and Angola. People who cross are villagers bordering one another,” he maintained.
2020-05-28 10:04:09 | 1 months ago