BURGLARS used a cutting torch to steal almost a quarter of million dollars in registration fees from the safe in the finance office of the Hifikepunye Pohamba campus of the University of Namibia in Ongwediva.
According to UNAM’s Communications and Marketing Officer for the northern campus, Linus Hamunyela, burglars entered the office sometime during Saturday by breaking through a window. He said before the burglars were able to steal the N$224 580 they broke down three doors in search of the safe where the registration fees was kept.
“They first broke down the door of one office and then they broke down a door to a toilet before eventually breaking down the door of the finance office.”
He said the burglars used a gas flame to cut through the safe door and removed all the cash that was held inside. He added that it seems that whoever committed the crime, planned for it well in advance.
According to Hamunyela the stolen money was paid by prospective students to register for courses at the campus.
“We are busy with the registration process at the moment and the security company was supposed to come and collect the money for banking purposes.”
He said that it was the first time that the campus has had to deal with a burglary of this nature and that the authorities have already put measures in place to strengthen security at the campus to avoid similar incidents in the future. Furthermore Hamunyela stated that they will change their system of banking to do so every day as their lives and that of everyone is their main concern.
“We alerted the police and security company to do regular patrols and to increase their visible presence,” he said.
Warrant Officer Frieda Shikole of the Namibian Police’s Community Affairs Division confirmed the burglary and said the suspects broke the window of the office to gain entry to the building before breaking down the doors to reach the safe and steal the students’ registration money.
“The suspects are not known at this stage and no arrest has been made,” Warrant Officer Shikole said.
She indicated that the investigation into the matter will continue.