By Surihe Gaomas WINDHOEK Operation Black September struck the hearts of many criminals as police successes revealed that a notorious syndicate had been uncovered and a huge amount of illicit fake DVD’s from Chinatown had been confiscated recently. Marking the official end of the crime-prevention operation yesterday, Inspector-General Sebastian Ndeitunga of the Namibian Police cited the most successful operation conducted by the Namibian and City Police in uncovering a criminal syndicate which was involved in a robbery at the Solitaire Country Lodge. It is reported that members of that notorious syndicate stole N$600ÃƒÆ’Ã†’Ãƒâ€ ‘ÃƒÆ’ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â‚¬Å¡Ã‚Â¬Ãƒ…ÃƒÆ’Ã†”Ã…Â¡ÃƒÆ’Ã¢â‚¬Å¡Ãƒâ€šÃ‚Â 000, including cheques. Five of the suspects have been arrested and one is still at large. Three others, who are not directly involved in the robbery, are also behind bars. “Some of these suspects were involved in a recent attempted robbery at Brakwater and were also part of the group that broke into a house in Pioniers Park where two of them were shot and killed by the complainant,” added Ndeitunga when he addressed police trainees at the Israel Patrick Iyambo Police College in Windhoek this week. It is further reported that members of the syndicate bought cars and cellphones during the Solitaire robbery, valued at N$98ÃƒÆ’Ã†’Ãƒâ€ ‘ÃƒÆ’ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â‚¬Å¡Ã‚Â¬Ãƒ…ÃƒÆ’Ã†”Ã…Â¡ÃƒÆ’Ã¢â‚¬Å¡Ãƒâ€šÃ‚Â 500. All the items have successfully been seized by the police. Ndeitunga gave a stern warning to criminals who were out there to break the law: “Criminals and would-be criminals, be seriously warned that the Namibian Police Force and its partners in the fight against crime will leave no stone unturned in our endeavours to disrupt your evil activities, anywhere, at all cost”, said Ndeitunga. Another major success story carried by the police and customs officials during ‘Operation Black September’ was when they seized 14ÃƒÆ’Ã†’Ãƒâ€ ‘ÃƒÆ’ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â‚¬Å¡Ã‚Â¬Ãƒ…ÃƒÆ’Ã†”Ã…Â¡ÃƒÆ’Ã¢â‚¬Å¡Ãƒâ€šÃ‚Â 000 illicit DVD’s, large quantities of fake and potentially harmful creams and fake shoes from Chinatown and other outlets in the capital. As a result of this operation, Ndeitunga notes that the wave of violent crimes has diminished, ATM crimes reduced significantly, and a drastic reduction in illegal firearms has been observed. “Eighteen illegal firearms were confiscated and the suspects were arrested,” explained Ndeitunga, adding that 97 people were also fined for drinking in public. Some 403 dangerous weapons such as knives, pangas, knobkieries, sharpened screwdrivers and guns were confiscated. Furthermore, 193 shebeens and nightclub owners were issued with summonses and four others were arrested for disobeying the law. Those people who misuse their licensed firearms under the influence of alcohol have been warned to refrain from the practice, as they will not be spared the wrath of the law. At the same time, 260 summonses were issued to people who failed to wear their seatbelts, 35 for using cellphones whilst driving and 358 for not carrying drivers licences. In total, 363 people are behind bars as a result of the entire crime prevention operation in and around Windhoek. An amount of N$540ÃƒÆ’Ã†’Ãƒâ€ ‘ÃƒÆ’ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â‚¬Å¡Ã‚Â¬Ãƒ…ÃƒÆ’Ã†”Ã…Â¡ÃƒÆ’Ã¢â‚¬Å¡Ãƒâ€šÃ‚Â 000 in fines and admissions of guilt will have to be paid by the perpetrators of various crimes detected during the operation. However, Ndeitunga noted that the frequent arrests have led to the overcrowding of holding cells at the three main police stations in the capital. The Windhoek Police Station, which has a capacity of 120, currently holds 240 detainees; Wanaheda Police Station, which normally only accommodates 100, now carries 288 detainees, while the Katutura Police Station with a normal capacity of 70, now has 120 detainees. The main aim behind the ‘Operation Black September’, which was launched on August 2 and ended on September 30, was to detect and reduce the escalating crime rate in the city.
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