ONE of the biggest breakthroughs against criminals in the gang infested informal settlements of Windhoek came with the arrest of seven men during an intensive search and capture operation east of the capital in the early hours of Thursday morning.
All seven of the men, apprehended by police after two separate incidents of burglary at a lodge near Steinhausen and at a well known business in Gobabis by two different gangs, are wanted in connection with cases, of amongst others intimidation, robbery, theft and serious assault, registered in Windhoek over the past few months.
Khomas Regional Police Commander, Commissioner Joseph Shikongo, who led the hunt, which also involved the helicopter from Nampol’s Air Wing, confirmed that all seven of the suspects arrested in connection with Wednesday night’s burglaries are wanted criminals.
“Some of these men are wanted in connection with as many as five other incidents where they terrorised members of the public. One of the men specifically has attacked people with a panga in the Goreangab informal settlement of Windhoek recently and we have been searching for him for more than a week,” Commissioner Shikongo said.
He described the arrest of the seven criminals who burgled the Otjere Lodge near Steinhausen and Okasandja, the business of a well known Gobabis resident, as a breakthrough of epic proportions against the criminal element that thrives and terrorises the residents of especially the informal settlements of Windhoek.
“We are still searching for two of the men that broke into the Otjere Lodge but we will make a breakthrough soon. The names and files of the suspects already in custody will be circulated to the other regions of Namibia to see if they are not wanted in connection with crimes in other towns of the country.”
Commissioner Shikongo, who was directly involved with the operation since 02:00 on Thursday morning said the work of the Serious Crime Division, the Special Reserve Force and the Air Wing was exemplary.
He said a team of 30 police officers ran on the tracks of the gang members and that the last of the suspects were arrested about 30 kilometres away from the spot near Seeis where the first of the gang members were arrested. He said they almost reached the Avis neighbourhood of Windhoek when the officers caught up with them.
“Our members did their best during this very intensive operation and I am proud of what we achieved. The criminal element that is holding our society hostage can be sure that we will be coming for them and that they will be rooted out.”
Commissioner Shikongo said the three suspects that were arrested in connection with the Gobabis burglary was already transported back to the town where they will be incarcerated for trial purposes. He said the other four suspects will make their appearance in the capital’s magistrate’s courts soon.