Khomas boozers cough up

A large quantity of alcohol was seized on Monday in Windhoek's Pioneers Park suburb, which was apparently brought in from Okahandja in three vehicles.

27 May 2020 | Crime

ELLANIE SMIT

WINDHOEK



The number of people arrested for violating alcohol restrictions in the Khomas Region has doubled during stage two of the coronavirus lockdown period, compared to arrests during stage one.

A total of N$98 000 in alcohol-related fines were issued during stage two, compared to stage one's N$48 000.

Furthermore, 49 people were arrested for violating the alcohol ban from 5 May to 25 May.



N$60k in fines paid

According to Khomas regional commander, Commissioner Joseph Shikongo, of those arrested, N$60 000 in fines were paid, while N$38 000 is still outstanding.

In comparison, during stage one, from 28 March to 4 May, only 24 people were arrested in connection with violating the alcohol ban, while N$20 000 in fines were paid and N$28 000 was outstanding.

According to Shikongo, a large quantity of alcohol was seized on Monday in Windhoek's Pioneers Park suburb.

The alcohol was apparently brought in from Okahandja in three vehicles and three suspects were arrested.



Big busts

Police confiscated 60 boxes of 750ml Tassenberg, five boxes of Windhoek Lager, 10 boxes of 750ml Tafel Lager, 11 boxes of one-litre Castelo wine, 55 boxes of 750ml Capenheimer wine, two boxes of 750ml Mokador coffee liqueur and 11 bottles of Monis Granada wine.

Investigations are continuing to find the supplier.

A suspect was also arrested yesterday morning at the Windhoek-Okahandja road block with 37 bottles of whiskey supposedly from Angola.

The suspect will not only be charged with violating the alcohol prohibition, but also the Customs and Excise Act.



Refrain from transporting booze

Shikongo said one of the main challenges being experienced with the regulation of alcohol is that people may consume alcohol privately, but when transporting it from one destination to another, they will have to clarify where it comes from.

He said there have been numerous occasions where alcohol has been transported and confiscated because suspects cannot prove where it comes from. He therefore advised people to refrain from transporting alcohol and rather wait for stage three to come into effect, which will likely see the booze ban lifted.

Shikongo added that the alcohol ban remains the most violated of the state of emergency regulations.

He further said the courts will have to decide on what to do with the confiscated alcohol. He said usually when alcohol has expired, it will be disposed of, otherwise a public auction can be held to generate state revenue.



Public gatherings a problem

He added that public gatherings are another challenge faced by the police.

“People want to gather at home for memorials and funerals and promise to wear masks and practice social distancing, but when law enforcers get there, it is not the case.”

During stage two, 60 people were arrested for public gatherings, while N$18 000 in fines was paid and N$102 000 is still outstanding.

Five people have also been fined for not wearing masks. None of the suspects have paid their fines and an amount of N$10 000 is still outstanding.

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