570 illegal firearms surrendered

22 October 2021 | Crime

ELLANIE SMIT



WINDHOEK

More than 500 illegal firearms were surrendered to the police by members of the public during amnesty month.

Safety and security minister Albert Kawana said a total of 570 illegal firearms as well as 24 334 rounds of ammunition were surrendered.

September was declared amnesty month, when all persons in Namibia who were in possession of illegal weapons and ammunition could surrender these to the authorities without fear of prosecution.

The firearms that were surrendered included 123 pistols, 97 shotguns, 22 revolvers, 372 rifles and one machine gun. The rifles were comprised of hunting rifles, air rifles and assault rifles such as AK 47s, R4s and R5s.

Kawana said the amnesty period expired on 1 October and those who did not surrender their illegal firearms and ammunition will henceforth be prosecuted.

Golden opportunity

The highest number of firearms were surrendered in the Omusati Region (135) followed by Khomas (111) and Oshana (88).

The least firearms were surrendered in Zambezi (two) and Karas (three) and Hardap (three).

Meanwhile, police chief, Inspector General Sebastian Ndeitunga, said amnesty month was a golden opportunity for those who possessed illegal arms and ammunition to surrender them without prosecution.

“Now that the amnesty has lapsed, citizens should be aware that the wrath of the law will pursue them.”

He urged the public to report anyone in possession of suspected illegal firearms and ammunition.

Ndeitunga previously said Namibia launched its first amnesty in 2016.

At the time, 1 276 firearms, 99 509 rounds of ammunition and 81 unexploded ordnances were handed over and have since been destroyed, he said.

Unfortunate

He added that it was unfortunate that some firearms fall into wrong hands and are used to commit crimes.

According to him, during the 2018/2019 financial year, 50 murders involving firearms were committed, compared to 31 in 2019/2020 and 33 during the 2020/2021 financial year.

With regards to robberies with aggravating circumstances with firearms, 408 cases were recorded during 2018/2019, compared to 414 in 2019/2020 and 418 in 2020/2021.

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