Police impersonators extort N$300,000

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Maria Amakali

Windhoek-Three men made a routine appearance in the Otjiwarongo Magistrate’s Court after they allegedly extorted N$300,000 from a local businessman while they were pretending to be police officers on duty.

Fifty-two-year-old Adrian Schickerling, Isaskar Lourens Aebeb, 47, and Michael Tangeni Mureko, 47, were arrested on charges of police impersonation, and racketeering in terms of the Prevention of Organized Crime Act, and extortion.

Facts before court are that the trio made contact with a local businessman under the pretence he has been placed on the list of those in line to win a construction tender. The victim was lured into having a meeting with an alleged employee from the Ministry of Works and Transport, who then informed the victim that he had to show appreciation in a form of N$2,000 gratuity.

According to the victim, after the meeting had ended he was approached by three men – two black and a Caucasian – who introduced themselves as officials from the Anti-Corruption Commission and police officers.

The businessman was then arrested and taken to the police station but he was remanded in the car, while the alleged police officers entered the police station.

The officers informed the victim that he needed to pay N$300,000 for his release. The victim made contact with his son who then brought the money to the three officers for the release of his father. The suspects used a blue Ford Bantam LDV with a white canopy and a green Mercedes Benz for their scam.

Schickerling and his co-accused were denied bail and are expected to make their next appearance in court on July 2017.

Investigations are still ongoing as the fourth accomplice in the well-organized criminal extortion racket is yet to be tracked down and brought to book.

The Anti-Corruption Commission’s chief investigation officer Nelius Becker is cautioning the public to be vigilant and to avoid getting involved in scams or to make payments that may compromise them getting drawn into the scam and opening the door to extortion.

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