Officer allegedly paid N$10 000 to release trafficking victims

Ottilia Kashuupulwa

A Police officer from Ongha Police Station is being accused of conspiring with suspected human traffickers to release their victims from a shelter. The officer was allegedly paid N$10 000 to do so.

Ohangwena regional police commander commissioner Ottilia Kashuupulwa confirmed this on Thursday.

“The first offer was N$65 000, the second was N$30 000, and the third was N$15 000. It’s alleged that he was paid N$10 000,” he said.

The officer, who has been identified as sergeant Ngheefamo Mukumangeni, is accused of releasing the victims to their captors.
Kashuupulwa said the incident took place on 30 December last year.

The Ohangwena police allege that Mukumangeni, along with three civilians, Immanuel Shipandeni, Ruben Katanga, and Martin Ileni Kanutus, broke into a shelter housing four Ethiopian women.

The women, alongside a suspected human trafficker, were arrested at Oshikango last year, the head of criminal investigations in the Ohangwena region, deputy commissioner Zacharia Amakali, told The Namibian last week.

He said four suspects allegedly damaged the shelter’s windows and doors, allowing the women to escape with a civilian. Amakali said the men allegedly gave the four women a ladder to climb over the wall, and one of the men went with them to Tsumeb, where they were arrested.

The four appeared in court and were remanded in custody for further investigations. Their next court appearance is scheduled for 17 April at the Ohangwena Magistrate’s Court, Amakali said.

The police say the four are facing charges of conspiracy to commit kidnapping, kidnapping, defeating or obstructing the course of justice, and bribing a public officer. The officer faces an additional charge of corruption.

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