Extortion suspect shot while trying to pull out toy gun

03 June 2021 | Crime

ELLANIE SMIT



WINDHOEK

Two suspects were caught by the Erongo police during a covert police operation after one impersonated a police officer to extort money from a 78-year-old doctor on several occasions.

The incident happened on Monday evening at Woerman Brock Hyper in Swakopmund when one of the suspects was shot by the police after pulling trying out to pull out a toy gun.

The money extorted from the doctor was under the pretence to get his son out of police custody after being arrested in March for the possession of stolen goods in Mondesa.

According to Erongo community affairs commander, Inspector Ileni Shapumba, the police received a complaint from the doctor regarding text messages he had been receiving from a man who identified himself as a certain Constable Swartbooi.

It is alleged that the suspect made the doctor believe that he had spoken to a public prosecutor in Erongo who wanted N$5 000 to have his son released on bail.

According to Shapumba, the suspect arranged for a meeting between himself and the doctor at Puma Service Station in Kuisebmund where the doctor paid N$550 to start the process.

Shapumba said on a different day, the suspect arranged for another meeting at an FNB in Mondesa for the doctor to pay N$5 500.

“At this point, the doctor withdrew N$8 000 and gave N$5 500 to the suspect, who then grabbed the remaining amount from the doctor.”

New phone

Again on a different occasion, the suspect apparently extorted the doctor by requesting for a new cellphone, Shapumba said.

He added that the suspect promised to get rid of the docket in which the doctor's son was charged. In this regard, the alleged public prosecutor apparently requested to be paid another N$5 000.

“It was at this point that the doctor reported the matter to the police.”

Shapumba said the police responded swiftly through an organised and undercover operation. Two suspects were caught in action receiving money from the doctor.

“Upon noticing the police, one of the two suspects pulled out a knife to stab the officer who approached him. It is also alleged that in the same process of resisting arrest, the suspect continued to pull out his T-shirt to show that he was armed with a gun. Hence, the police officer shot the suspect in his right thigh.”

It was later discovered that the suspect pulled out toy gun.

Scams

The injured suspect was taken to Swakopmund State Hospital in a stable condition. He is under police guard.

A case of attempted murder was opened against the police officer for investigation.

“It appears that the criminals have seen a gap in detecting scams among our communities and people are buying into dishonest suggestions.

“In most cases, people are conned to buy employment, driving licences and even police dockets by scammers. These are not safe or honest practices and, therefore, not legal processes,” Shapumba said.

He also stressed that bail money in an amount authorised by the court is to be paid at court during working hours or at a police station where a person should be given a proof of payment to that effect.

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