By Charles Tjatindi
The body of a Togolese engineer, Hator Kokouvi Gbebadah-Mensah who was reported missing just over a week ago was found floating in the sea. The Erongo Police confirmed the discovery of the body, which was found floating face down at the Tunacor jetty last week.
Mensah was last seen on a fishing vessel with two of his engineer colleagues.
He is said to have remained awake on watch duty while his colleagues went to sleep. They however became concerned when they did not find Mensah at his post when they woke up.
When he did not return to the vessel the next day, they notified the vessel owner, who in turn notified the police at Walvis Bay.
The owner of the fishing company, Pescalamar which had employed Mensah, Antonio Fernandez, confirmed the death of the Togolese national to the media, although facts relating to his death remain unknown at the moment.
“The engineer was on watch duty at the time he went missing – that’s all we know,” he said.
The police retrieved the body from the sea last week and have opened an inquest docket in connection with the death.
And another foreign engineer Wieslaw Sazeku, a Polish national, has also been reported missing after he disappeared from yet another fishing vessel in a manner similar to that of Mensah.
Sazeku is said to have gone missing from a wet fish trawler Dar 314 merely days after the disappearance of the Togolese national. The Dar 314 was at the time of Sazeku’s disappearance anchored at the jetty of Benguella Sea Products.
Sazeku’s colleagues only became suspicious a day after he went missing after he failed to return to the ship, and then alerted the police. All his belongings, including his cellphone, were still aboard the Dar 314.
Sources in the fishing industry are puzzled by what they describe as distinct similarities between the disappearance of Mensah and that of Sazeku, prompting many to ponder if there might be a serial killer targeting foreign nationals on the loose.
Early reports that the Polish national might have fallen overboard and drowned have been strongly refuted by some in the industry.
New era has established that such suspicions stem from the fact that the presence of foreigners in the Namibian fishing industry is seen by many locals as unfair competition.
Police investigations continue.