Police impersonation confuses public: Sergeant

10 Feb 2016 20:10pm
SWAKOPMUND, 10 FEB (NAMPA) – Criminals who impersonate police officers in order to rob them are confusing members of the public as to who is a police officer and who is not.
Even worse, civilians are losing faith and trust in the police due to an increasing number of criminal activities involving police impersonation.
This was the testimony of Namibian Police Force (NamPol) Sergeant Paulus Kandjimi during the bail application of four men accused of extortion and police impersonation in the Swakopmund Magistrate’s Court on Wednesday.
He was objecting to the granting of bail to the suspects, saying they re-offended, have the same pending cases, might abscond, and interfere with State witnesses.
Kandjimi also said the case is of a serious nature.
Another reason was that police investigations into the matter are still ongoing and suspects could interfere with the investigations if released on bail.
“There should be no bail because they might commit the same offences again as they were on bail on the same charges when they committed this offence,” the sergeant told the court.
Collin Auchab, 38; Stephanus Theodor, 38; Reinhard Narib, 38 and Nicolaus Mokomele, 44 were arrested on 20 January this year after they allegedly extorted N.dollars 70 000 from a member of the public.
Court records indicate that the group has extortion and impersonation cases pending in Otjiwarongo and Tsumeb.
Auchab, Narib and Mokomele are represented by Shakespeare Masiza, while Vetu Uanivi is representing Theodor.
The two lawyers argued that their clients should be granted bail as they will not abscond, the case is not serious and they will not interfere with witnesses.
“I guarantee you my clients will not abscond because they are Namibians and rooted in Namibia. N.dollars 70 000 is a small amount; I have seen cases involving N.dollars 100 000 where suspects were given bail,” Masiza said.
Uanivi argued that the police have no evidence to prove they have the right offenders, therefore his client “has nothing to fear”.
He noted that it was never said in court that the State has a strong case, and therefore it is not a serious case in which bail can be denied.
Magistrate Nelao Brown remanded the four in custody and postponed the matter to 22 February for continuation of the bail hearing.
Prosecutor Tanya Jacobie represented the State in the matter.