By Charles Tjatindi
The three coastal towns of Henties Bay, Swakopmund and Walvis Bay have become a haven for drug lords, prompting the Erongo Regional Police to step up efforts to fight drug trafficking in the region.
At a press briefing yesterday, the Police Regional Commander for the Erongo Region, Deputy Commissioner Festus Shilongo, issued a stern warning to those who make themselves guilty to refrain from dealing in drugs. The deputy commissioner said the Erongo police are out to root out all drug syndicates in the region to make it safer for residents.
“If you are dealing in drugs, be worried because Shilongo is after you. We will go all the way to get you, you can’t escape us. We will find you and you will be sorry,” came the warning from Shilongo.
The police chief appealed to the public not to collaborate with drug dealers, but to report such people to the police. He noted that many members of the public are aware of individuals who are guilty of dealing in drugs at their homes, but are reluctant to come forward with information.
“The Erongo police guarantee confidentiality and protection for you. If you have information that could help us carry out our work easier, please do not hesitate to come forward with information.
“Most of the cases we were able to solve involving drugs have been as a result of the good cooperation from the members of the public. We need you,” he said.
Shilongo said at the press briefing that about 90 percent of drugs that make their way to the coastal towns are transported by road. He therefore sees the need to strengthen control at Namibia’s borders and strategic roadblocks to curb such practice.
According to the deputy commissioner, most of the drugs such as cocaine and dagga are supplied from South Africa.
“Drug dealers are sitting on a time bomb. We will find them and put a stop to their evil activities. We will not rest until we have rid the Erongo region of these evil elements,” noted Shilongo.
Another crime that has been on the increase in the region is suicides, with about 44 cases of suicides involving guns being reported over the last few months.
Shilongo noted that most of the suicides remain “unsolved” as no notes or motives are left behind by victims. The regional commander urged people to approach relevant institutions that can help them deal with problems, and to abstain from taking their own lives.
“We have a small population in our region. Please approach a professional to help you with your problems. You can even approach the Erongo police and we could refer you to professionals in that field. Taking your own life is not the solution,” said Shilongo.
The deputy commissioner thanked members of his force for their tireless efforts to curb crime and road accidents in the region over the last holiday season. He noted that if the efforts continue, the Erongo police would fulfill its slogan that reads “Make Erongo Safe”.