N$200,000 meant for salaries stolen

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Alvine Kapitako
Windhoek

A 25-year-old man was shot in the right leg while trying to assist his employers prevent a gang of armed robbers from fleeing during a robbery that saw the suspects snatch N$200,000 in cash.
Last week’s heist is the latest in a string of such robberies to have rocked Windhoek in recent months, which also saw robbers steal a laptop and cellphones. The latter theft – believed to have been an inside job – took place at an institution of higher learning that requested not to be named.

Inspector Pendukeni Haikali of the Namibian Police public relations division confirmed the latest robbery, saying a 25-year-old Chinese national was held at gunpoint and robbed. The site manager was getting ready to pay the employees when the robbers – at least six of them – attacked the site manager and employees at the site where the firm is doing construction work.

The incident happened on Tuesday at around 17h20 at a construction site in Windhoek. “The Namibian was shot while trying to intervene,” Haikali said.

Hanyu Gu, a Chinese managing director affiliated to the company that is overseeing the construction site, said employees were paid in cash because some of them do not have bank accounts for salaries to be transferred to their accounts electronically. “But we have decided to make it a strict policy that from now on all employees should have bank accounts for their salaries to be transferred electronically,” Hanyu said.

On Thursday, Hanyu and two other Chinese nationals paid a courtesy visit to 25-year-old Hambiya Simeon at his shack in Havana, where they applauded him for his bravery. “We could not leave just like that, because we saw our bosses were tied, but then the robbers started shooting randomly and I got injured during the process,” said Simeon, who is recovering at home.

Hanyu said he was proud of Simeon’s bravery and added an additional N$1,000 to his salary for “the brave act”. He also apologised that Simeon was shot during the incident and said there were plans to include Simeon – a carpenter – in further construction projects and upgrade his skills.

“People may say that it’s a show, but I don’t think it’s a show, because we want people to learn from this,” Hanyu added. Furthermore, Hanyu advised that people should work hard and earn honest incomes rather than rob others.
“We are trying to teach our people that we are looking for the happiness of our future through hard work,” he said.
Hanyu noted that three of the suspected robbers had worked at the site before. New Era understands that the three robbers will be blacklisted from getting employment at Chinese enterprises, according to the Association of Chinese Enterprises in Namibia.

“It makes me sad that they have been offered an opportunity, but they are not using it,” he said, adding that the income of families were delayed as a result of the robbery.
Haikali said no arrests had been made so far in connection with the robbery.
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Caption (Pic: Chinese):

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