Burglars Abort Mission at ACC

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By Mbatjiua Ngavirue Windhoek Daring thieves yesterday broke into the new offices of the Anti-Corruption Commission (ACC) making off with only a computer after they were forced to hurriedly abort their mission by the alarm system. The burglary at the ACC offices occurred just before 03h00 yesterday morning, and the commission was perhaps lucky not to have suffered more serious losses. The alarm system alerted an armed-response team from a private security firm, forcing the thieves to flee the scene prematurely. Officers from the Windhoek City Police quickly followed the private armed-response team to the scene, according to Deputy Director of the ACC, Advocate Erna van der Merwe. Van der Merwe, who was the first official of the commission to arrive on the scene, praised both the private security company and the City Police for what she described as their “excellent” response. She immediately informed Director of the ACC Paulus Kalomho Noa. Noa in turn informed Inspector General of the Namibian Police, Sebastian Ndeitunga, who deployed reinforcements around the offices. The incident highlights that Windhoek burglars are becoming bold to the point of recklessness and that no institution appears to be sacred. The thieves only managed to take the computer “box” containing the hard-drive, leaving the old-style CRT screen and other peripherals behind. The first thought on many people’s minds was that the thieves might have targeted dockets and files linked to cases being investigated by the ACC. Van der Merwe however doubted this was the aim of the burglars. “I don’t think they were after our information. If they were, why didn’t they take other computers, or why didn’t they force entry into offices where files are kept,” she asked. She assured the public there was no sensitive information on the computer taken by the thieves. “We can consider ourselves very lucky. Things might have been different if it was not for the wonderful response from the security company and the City Police,” she said. In view of the attempt, Van der Merwe indicated that measures were being taken to beef up security. There would, for example, be 24-hour security at the ACC offices starting yesterday evening. The Anti-Corruption Commission has been in existence for just over six months. It recently moved from temporary offices borrowed from the Central Governance Agency on the 5th floor of the Frans Indongo building. The offices that were broken into are at 5 Johann Albrecht Street, Windhoek West, the new home of the ACC.