VIGILANT customs officials at Namibia’s border posts and some police officers driving on a routine trip from Tses to Keetmanshoop discovered a large amount of dagga being smuggled into the country and delivered to dealers countrywide.
In the first instance police officers conducting a closer inspection of a suspicious situation on the road to Keetmanshoop, discovered a quarter of a tonne of dagga when they accosted a truck driver and four other men next to the road.
According to Commissioner Rudolf Isaak, Commander of the Namibian Police in the //Kharas Region, the suspects were arrested by members of NamPol who were on their way from Tses to Keetmanshoop who were taking prisoners to court when they discovered a truck next to the road from where people were busy offloading entire bales of dagga into two smaller vehicles.
Five men were arrested and one of the suspects was the driver of the truck that entered Namibia from South Africa through the Ariamsvlei border post.
The dagga weighed in at 216 kilograms and the value of the large amount of the illicit drug was estimated to be worth N$1, 8 million. A further search f the suspects revealed that they had N$18 000 in cash with them. The cash was also confiscated by the police officers.
The five suspects are scheduled to appear in the Keetmanshoop Magistrate’s Court on Tuesday.
Commissioner Isaak commended the police for their vigilance and a job well done.
On Wednesday evening Customs Officers, through their methods of risk profiling referred a light pick-up truck with a South African with registration number for scanning at the Trans Kalahari border post. During the scanning process the official identified a false compartment in the load box of the pick-up.
The Namibian Police were called for assistance and the light pick-up truck’s canopy was removed. Inside the hidden compartment officials discovered 258 packets of cannabis, weighing 61,39 kilograms with a street value of N$613 000.
According to a senior customs official the contraband was handed over through a chain of custody to the Namibian Police Drug Law Enforcement Unit.
The South African citizen that was driving the light pick-up truck was arrested and is scheduled to appear in the Gobabis Magistrate’s Court on Tuesday.
Two days later on Friday customs officials at the same border post again profiled a Namibian registered road transport truck and referred the vehicle to the scanner.
The scanned image revealed undeclared goods and upon physical inspection of the goods inside the truck it was found to be cannabis packed in black traveller’s bags. The Customs Officers again called in the assistance of the Namibian Police Drug Law Enforcement Unit.
This time 191 parcels weighing a total of 97, 49 kilograms and with a street value of N$1,949 008 million was confiscated and handed over to the relevant police division.
The truck driver and his accomplice, both Namibian were arrested. The driver is scheduled to appear in the Gobabis Magistrate’s Court while the accomplice will appear in Windhoek on Tuesday
With cannabis legalized in South Africa distributors are trying to find a new market with better prices for their products and it is envisaged that police and customs official will increasingly find large hauls of the illicit drug being smuggled into the country.
The total value of the confiscated dagga is estimated to be N$4 362 008.