Epupa-A six-month-old baby girl who was reportedly stolen from her mother at Epupa settlement in the Kunene Region has still not been found, almost two weeks since she was stolen from her mother who was fast asleep in what is suspected to be a case of human trafficking.
According to the Deputy Commissioner for Regional Crime Investigation in Kunene, Rudolf Kanyetu, the baby was stolen from her mother’s side on the fateful night of May 6 at Epupa where they were sleeping in an open space.
The 20-year-old mother, Ndjinaveva Kauyekua, an Angolan national who came to visit her family in Namibia, suddenly realised her baby was nowhere near her after she woke up in the middle of the night. She is said to be highly traumatised by the incident.
Three suspects, a male and two females, have thus far been apprehended by the police in connection with the case, where they remain in custody after making a brief appearance in the Opuwo Magistrate’s Court on a count of human trafficking.
The deputy commissioner noted that it is difficult to figure out the motive of this kind of crime since it is the first of its kind in the region, adding that the investigations include all possibilities, including human trafficking.
The possibility of human trafficking is further validated by the fact that Epupa is an area with a high influx of tourists on a daily basis.
Unverified reports on the ground indicate that one of the suspects was allegedly in the company of a tourist drinking at a local bar, where one of the suspects is reported to have told one of the residents he was sent by the tourist to look for a child for him.
“Poverty and unemployment which are very high in this area could also contribute to such crimes,” noted one source.
So far the whereabouts of the baby are not yet known and the police are busy with their investigation. Kanyetu is asking the public to help with any information which can help with the tracing or which can lead to the arrest of any suspects.
Anyone with information can contact Deputy Commissioner Kanyetu at 065 273148 (work) or on his mobile a: 0811298238.
• Selma Gumbo is an information officer working in the Ministry of Information and Communication Technology in Kunene Region.