Two police constables who were arrested for allegedly being part of a gang of five law enforcement agents who robbed a Chinese-owned shop in Katutura last Thursday, appeared in the Katutura Magistrate’s Court on a charge of armed robbery.
The two police officers, Salatiel Paulus and Daniel Hangula, appeared before Magistrate Desiree Kamboua. The two were denied bail, but they indicated through their lawyer Kadhila Amoomo from Sisa Namandje law firm that they will bring a formal bail application next Monday ( April 4).The prosecutor was Fillemon Nyamu.
Inspector Slogan Matheus from the Police Public Relations Division said last Tuesday that at about 13h10, at a Chinese shop at Olyeta Shopping Complex in Okuryangava, Katutura, five suspects driving in a marked police vehicle entered the Olyeta Shopping Complex. Two passengers from the vehicle then entered a Chinese shop and allegedly informed the saleslady they wanted to buy headsets (earphones) in bulk.
The saleslady called the shop owner who was at China Town and when he arrived at the shop, two other passengers from the vehicle joined the others inside the shop and presented a fake case docket and search warrant, saying they were investigating a case of dealing in drugs and wanted to search the shop for drugs.
The suspects searched the storeroom and took N$2 000 in cash and searched the till and took N$1 600 from the till, two cellphones from the shop and the computer memory box from the CCTV camera system.
The suspects then fled the scene, but the shop owner with the assistance of members of the public, alerted to the crime, closed the gate, preventing the vehicle from being driven out.
The driver of the vehicle was arrested at the scene and one suspect was arrested later the same day.
Police officers have been involved in various theft cases in the past.
Some police officers New Era spoke to said the reason is because of pay.
But some senior police officers said the new police officers are well paid, compared to years back. New Era understands police constables earn N$7 000 a month.
The other three suspects are still at large, but they are known, Matheus said.
Last April the Minister of Safety and Security Major-General (Rtd) Charles Namoloh was quoted in the press as saying: “Some police officers do not have passion for their work, but have a passion for money only. That is why we have so many problems. A police officer works for three years and then wants promotion.” In turn, some officers asked whether Namoloh wants them to work for free.
They also asked if he has read the Police Blue Manual, which states that if a member of the force has been in a position for three years and does not have a pending case against him (or her), he qualifies for a promotion.
But Namoloh was unapologetic saying some police officers and civil servants lacked passion for their jobs.
He said when people come for job interviews “they tell you nice things, but when they get the jobs they do not want to serve. They close their doors and act like kings.”