Interpol ‘useless’ in extraditing criminals to Namibia
12 January 2022 | Police
While Police Chief Inspector General Sebastian Ndeitunga regards the International Criminal Police Organisation (Interpol) as useful, a local police investigator says otherwise, claiming that it’s all just police politics. This, while cases involving foreign nationals who have committed crimes in Namibia and fled the country before prosecution remain unsolved, the investigator, who opted to remain anonymous, said.
“One such case is that of a Chinese national who sodomised a male employee in Rundu back in 2005. Still to date nothing has been done. I remember the person was traced to China and numerous requests were made and China has refused to send their citizen to us,” the source said.
“China will not give you their people. If you ask our bosses, they normally say it will be done through Interpol but that is mere police politics. If we are already struggling with countries such as Angola, Zambia and Zimbabwe, why will China budge?
“The only country in Africa that can do that is Botswana, but the rest, they refuse to give their people,” they said.
The source made these remarks following a recent Namibian Sun report on a Chinese national who allegedly raped and impregnated a 15-year-old girl from Rundu. The victim gave birth to a baby boy last month, while the suspect is on the run and is believed to have fled back to China.
“It is very unfortunate for the family because the chances of that Chinese national coming back are unlikely, seeing that he can be jailed for committing a serious crime,” the source said.
Last year, Namibian Sun reported that while Namibia has announced that it ratified an extradition treaty agreement with Angola, that country is yet to do so.
On 16 August 2019 at Sikali village in the Kavango West Region, an Angolan national allegedly hacked his 23-year-old Namibian girlfriend, Naimi Ngambo Kalenga, to death with an axe.
The suspect fled the scene and managed to cross the border into Angola where he was arrested, the police confirmed at the time. However, more than two years later, he is yet to be extradited.
When approached for comment, Ndeitunga said Interpol is important; however, it cannot dictate to countries due to issues of sovereignty.
“Interpol is very important in dealing with international and multinational crime, but it is confined to the international laws in regards to the sovereignty of countries and also depending on bilateral and multilateral agreements. So, it is not that Interpol can dictate to China for a suspect to be extradited to Namibia,” he explained.
“Namibia first has to see whether there is an extradition agreement between Namibia and China and if there is, they have to move for the suspect to be extradited. And [see] if there is any reason for Interpol to be involved, but this depends more on the bilateral agreement of the two countries.
“Namibia has to convince China that the suspect has committed the crime, seeing we are talking about a rape case, which is regarded serious in many countries. It is difficult to extradite your citizen to another country if you are not convinced of the crime they are alleged to have committed.”