Charge in City Police armed robbery case withdrawn

30 Aug 2016 09:30am
WINDHOEK, 30 AUG (NAMPA) - Two City Police officers and two civilians arrested at the beginning of December 2015 in connection with an armed robbery of an English tourist couple, have been set free.
The officers are Simeon Mati Kapolo and Engelman Haingura, while the two civilians are Llevelyn Ralph Strauss and Bjorn Wandeschowski.
The four men were set free after the charge of armed robbery was provisionally withdrawn when they made another appearance in the Windhoek Magistrate's Court along Lüderitz Street here on Monday morning.
The charge against the four men was provisionally withdrawn after the investigating officers informed the court that their investigations into the matter are not yet complete.
The Namibian police officers asked for more time to enable them to complete the investigations, saying they still need to obtain about four statements from the witnesses.
However, the magistrate was not willing to entertain another postponement to allow for the completion of the police investigations.
As a result, Windhoek Magistrate Justine Asino, who presided over the case on Monday, issued an order that the armed robbery charge be provisionally withdrawn against the four accused.
The charge will, however, be re-instated and each of the accused persons summoned to appear before court again once the police complete their investigations.
The four suspected robbers were each free on bail of N.dollars 15 000, and their bail money was on Monday refunded upon the provisional withdrawal of the charge against them.
Windhoek-based defence lawyers Milton Engelbrecht, Kadhila Amoomo, Mese Tjituri and Gilroy Casper represented the four suspects.
Public Prosecutor Tatelo Cuthbert Luspani appeared for the State on Monday.
In the matter, an amount of N.dollars 300 000 is alleged to have been stolen during the alleged armed robbery, of which about N.dollars 75 000 has been recovered by the Namibian Police Force (NamPol).
It is alleged that the two City Police officers, a tour guide and an apparent diamond dealer were involved in the alleged theft of 15 000 British pounds (about N.dollars 327 000) from British tourists.
The incident occurred near Laurent Kabila Street in Suiderhof when the two City Police officers, dressed in their uniforms, allegedly mounted an unauthorised roadblock in the area.
They allegedly searched a vehicle whose occupants included the tourist couple and a tour guide, who was their driver.
The two cops were driving in a fully marked City Police Division vehicle.
The tourists and tour guide came across the roadblock on their way from visiting an alleged diamond dealer from whom they were apparently supposed to buy the precious stones.
But the tourists decided not to buy the stones, as they appeared to be fake.
The two officers allegedly stopped the tourists’ vehicle and searched their bodies and the interior of the vehicle from which the money was later taken.
The officers then apparently requested the tourists to follow them to the police station but they (police officers) drove at a high speed and the tourists lost sight of the police vehicle.
The tourists reported the theft case to NamPol and provided the registration number of the City Police vehicle.
Accused Strauss was a tour guide and the driver of the vehicle that was transporting the tourist couple while Wandeschowski was an alleged diamond dealer.