06 Mar 2014 15:20pm
GROOTFONTEIN, 06 MAR (NAMPA) Copper sheet metal suspected to have been stolen from the harbour at Walvis Bay on Tuesday this week was recovered at a farm in the Grootfontein district of the Otjozondjupa Region on Wednesday morning.
According to the Namibian Police Force (NamPol)s Otjozondjupa Regional Public Relations Officer, Sergeant Maureen Mbeha, the metal weighs 34 tonnes and is valued at N.dollars 3 million.
Mbeha said the copper sheet metal originates from Kitwe in Zambia, and was destined for export to Europe through the Walvis Bay harbour.
The copper sheet metals were still loaded on the truck trailer which transported them from Zambia, and about six suspected thieves stole the truck and drove straight to Grootfontein, she explained.
The police at Grootfontein received a tip-off from a member of the public about the truck coming from Walvis Bay.
The police and members of Grootfonteins Neighbourhood Watch teamed up to monitor its movements.
At around 03h00 on Wednesday, the truck with a Walvis Bay registration number plate turned into a private farm, which Mbeha would not name.
There, the head of the trailer was unhooked and the truck drove off in the direction of Otavi, leaving the trailer behind.
Shortly after the head had gone, two Volkswagen Golfs with Swakopmund registration number plates arrived at the spot where the trailer was parked, she said, adding that each vehicle had two occupants.
Mbeha noted that the suspected copper buyer and his son also showed up at the same spot.
The police and the Neighbourhood Watch members ambushed the group, and the four suspected dealers (who were travelling in the two Golfs) were apprehended on the spot.
The truck driver and his co-driver were intercepted by the police in Otavi.
In total, six arrests have so far been made in connection with the recovered copper sheet metals.
Four of the suspects are being kept at the Grootfontein police holding cells, and two more at the Otavi police holding cells.
The suspects are aged between 27 and 34 years.
They are expected to appear in the Grootfontein Magistrates Court on Friday before they are transferred to Walvis Bay, where their prosecution is expected to take place.
Police investigations continue.