Fuel smuggling suspects get bail

18 September 2019 | Justice

Magistrate Gabriela Perestrelo has granted N$1 000 bail each to Paulus Sebron Samuel (40) and Kashiyukile Michael (23), who appeared in the Ondangwa Magistrate's Court on Monday for alleged fuel smuggling.

Perestrelo postponed the matter to 16 December for further police investigation. Samuel and Michael were arrested by members of Operation Kalahari Desert, which is a joint police and army law-enforcement initiative.

They were nabbed last week at Omashaka location in Ondangwa, allegedly with 70 containers filled with 1 635 litres of fuel, valued at more than N$22 300.

Oshana police crime investigations coordinator, Deputy Commissioner Hilja Haipumbu, said some of the containers were allegedly found hidden in a shack where the suspects were sleeping, while others were found loaded on a Toyota Hilux bakkie and in a Toyota RunX sedan. The two vehicles have been confiscated and will be used as exhibits.

Haipumbu said it is not yet clear were the fuel came from, but they suspect it's from Angola.

“We are urging members of the public to refrain from dealing in illegal and unregulated fuel. This is not only a criminal activity, but is also dangerous and can lead to lives being lost, if containers of fuel are stored in a house or residential area,” said Haipumbu.

“This is an ongoing illegal business. We are appealing to our citizens to refrain from transporting petrol without following the legal procedures.” Wisdom Ndakondja is the prosecutor in the matter.