Senior cop probed for ‘aiding’ suspect to skip the country

Maureen Mbeha

Police are investigating a senior officer from the Otjiwarongo Criminal Investigations Unit for allegedly stealing a confiscated passport from custody and handing it to a suspect to travel to South Africa and back.

The police inspector, Ursula Mulongwane, stands accused of aiding Joao-Quinn Amado (37), an Angolan national arrested on charges of fraud, to travel to and from South Africa on 12 and 13 January this year.

Otjozondjupa police spokesperson senior inspector Maureen Mbeha has confirmed the allegations received from the Otjiwarongo Magistrate’s Court.

Mbeha says a criminal case for the theft of the passport has been registered at the Otjiwarongo Police Station.

“Internal investigations are currently underway by our police conduct investigation subdivision, to establish what transpired,” she says.

Mbeha further says the police will issue a detailed report once all facts are obtained and verified.

Amado allegedly travelled via the Noordoewer border post, a police source told The Namibian last week.

Amado was reportedly arrested on fraud charges linked to the sale of a vehicle in December 2023.

He was granted bail in this case, with bail conditions including that he surrender his passport to the investigating officer, who is also from the criminal investigations unit.

According to the source, a few days after the passport was given to the investigating officer, the passport disappeared from the office.
The investigating officer allegedly reported to Mulongwane that the passport vanished from his possession.

Mulongwane then allegedly assured the investigating officer that she would retrieve it.

Unbeknown to the investigating officer, Amado travelled from Namibia to South Africa.

The travel records he allegedly obtained from the Ministry of Home Affairs, Immigration, Safety and Security showed that the missing passport was used to cross the border.

“He was given a print out that shows that from 12-13 January 2024, the passport was used at Noordoewer border post to and from South Africa,” the source said.

The source added that the accused inspector returned the passport after Amado returned to Otjiwarongo from South Africa.

“It’s alleged that the accused informed the investigation officer that he got the passport from the same unit commander, despite the fact that it was seized by a court order,” the source said.

Efforts by The Namibian to reach Mulongwane for comment proved futile after she ended the call when she was queried about the incident. Follow-up calls to her mobile phone went unanswered, while three text messages seeking clarification remained ignored.

Amado told The Namibian yesterday that he got his passport on 10 January after calling the inspector.

“On 12 January, I travelled to Cape Town. To give a car to someone who wanted to open a case against me. I gave back the passport to the police on 16 [January] because on 18 January, I had to appear in court. I don’t want problems. I have a family here at Otjiwarongo. I did not pay anyone to get my passport,” he said.

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