Police are investigating a sophisticated syndicate at Walvis Bay believed to be responsible for the disappearance of at least 40 containers from the harbour. Two suspects will be charged today.
WALVIA BAY – The Namibian Police at Walvis Bay have unearthed a container syndicate operating at the harbour and at the same time busted two suspects while they were loading a container containing blister copper valued at N$2.92 million onto a truck.
The two suspects were arrested around 18h00 last Thursday evening in the posh Meersig suburb of Walvis Bay while they were reportedly loading the container onto a P. Weekly Transport truck for an unknown destination.
The container disappeared in September this year from Walvis Bay port, shortly after arriving from Tsumeb Copper Smelters. The shipment was destined for Belgium and disappeared alongside another container of copper that was destined for the Netherlands.
Acting crime co-ordinator for the Namibian Police in the Erongo Region, Inspector Erastus Ikuyu confirmed the arrest and the recovery of the container during a press briefing held on Friday at the Namibian police station at the harbour.
“It appears that the container was hidden in a bushy area at the time of discovery. So far only two suspects were arrested and we expect to arrest more people in connection with the theft as the search for the second container also loaded with blister copper continues,” Iikuyu told New Era. The two containers of copper are valued at N$6.258 million.
Ikuyu said a staggering 40 containers were also reported missing by Namport from the port, of which only 10 have been recovered thus far.
He said containers were reported missing in September and October however some containers have been missing since last year.
“Four were sold in Oshikango which we recovered, one was intercepted between Otjiwarongo and Otavi while being transported by truck, another was discovered in Ondangwa, one in Narraville, one in Omaruru, one at Wesbank Transport and one at the town centre itself,” Iikuyu explained.
The total value of the recovered containers is N$1.4 million while the total value of the combined 40 containers that originally went missing is said to be worth N$5.6 million.
The two suspects are expected to appear in the Walvis Bay Magistrate’s court on a charge of theft today.
By Eveline de Klerk