Three women were arrested during their visit to the Windhoek Correctional Facility on Tuesday when they allegedly tried to smuggle drugs and other contraband into the prison.
One of the suspects hid a tobacco package between her 10-year-old daughter’s legs while the other had 49 Mandrax tablets.
Lucia Le-Ann Moses, 21, an employee at a local supermarket in town, reportedly had 49 Mandrax tablets worth N$2 490 hidden in a backpack. Moses also had a tobacco package hidden between her breasts.
Moses was visiting trial-awaiting inmate Ashley Eiseb, who was arrested for robbery. However, Eiseb used vulgar language and denied knowing Moses.
But Moses maintained knowing Eiseb and that they lived in the same area in Katutura central.
Another woman, Walburga Ditshabue, 38, from Gobabis hid a tobacco parcel between her 10-year-old daughter’s legs. The daughter had accompanied her to the facility.
Ditshabue had dagga worth N$500, four cellphones, a charger and two cellphone batteries in her possession.
“It’s unfortunate that a girl of that age is taught criminal activities by the mother,” said Windhoek correctional facility deputy commissioner general for correctional operations, Tuhafeni Hangula.
Hangula said the facility’s psychologist was attending to the girl and the law will guide them on how to deal with the issue.
Ditshabue came to visit Mukoko Mathias who is in for murder. Ditshabue told officials she was visiting her cousin but when the so-called cousin came he told them that Ditshabue is his wife.
Thirdly, two other tobacco parcels were confiscated from Audrey Genene Bock, 29. They were destined for trial-awaiting inmate Willem February.
Bock hid the parcel between her legs. February is in for murder and rape. Bock said February is her boyfriend.
Hangula told the media that Tuesday is a day when trial-awaiting offenders receive visitors and have privileges of receiving items from outside.
Hangula explained that they conduct searches on visitors and in the process of searching they found the contraband.
“We are not doing this to embarrass them but warn society out there that this is happening and putting them into trouble, particularly women. All incidents of this nature involve women. We are kindly asking society to assist those who are in our care – but this (smuggling) will not help rehabilitate them.”
In addition, Hangula said the danger of cellphones coming to the facility is their being used to arrange criminal activities – such as the contraband smuggling uncovered.
He revealed the trick of how the drugs would reach inmates. He said Moses was instructed to bring the drugs to the facility and throw them into dustbins. “The cleaners at the facility are our offenders who would have come to collect them.”
“We want to send out a clear message that you may come with whatever trick, but we will certainly nab you. You may succeed on two occasions but it will not last long,” said Hangula who indicated the three were handed over to the police.
Hangula said the law prohibits smoking at public places, including correctional facilities.
“It is against that background that we banned tobacco to be smoked in our facility. Of course the law provides that designated areas should be provided. However, our set-up is of such a nature that designated areas cannot be provided, hence we are not allowing them to enter our facility,” he stated.