Shilimela helicopter helps apprehend robbery suspects

08 February 2021 | Crime

TUYEIMO HAIDULA



OSHAKATI

Three burglars who robbed NamPost at Oshigambo in the Oshikoto Region last Wednesday and fled in a hired car were caught by the police with the assistance of Namibian businessman Banda Shilimela’s helicopter.

Shilimela said they used video from the post office’s CCTV footage – which a company he owes provides - to see what type of vehicle the robbers fled in, and he then called his car hire company, Shil Car Hire, to check which cars were in the vicinity of Oshigambo.

They decided to use the helicopter so they could find the robbers faster, he said.

“[With] our system, you can also hear the voices of the people. Even when they were demanding money. People at the control room could hear all this. That is one of our best systems,” he said.

Shilimela said when the suspects were found, they admitted to the crime.

Some money recovered

According to regional police commander, Commissioner Armas Shivute, two of the three suspected armed robbers were arrested at Omwandi area in Oshana.

The third is, however, still on the run, and part of the stolen money – to the value of N$65 152, has been recovered.

The trio reportedly also robbed a Chinese shop at Eenhana in Ohangwena on Monday, using the same modus operandi, and managed to steal N$155 000 in cash, Shivute said.

Two days before the heist, the robbers told the general manager at Shil Car Hire in Ondangwa, Jeicob Nanundombe, that they were self-employed and needed the car for a function in Tsumeb on Monday, and would return it on Tuesday.

“He booked the car on Monday at 17h00 and was to return it at Tuesday 17h00. Early Wednesday morning is when we received the complaint that the car was used in a robbery,” Nanundombe said.

Guard overpowered

In a telephonic interview last Thursday, Shilimela told Namibian Sun that CCTV footage taken inside and outside of NamPost shows that the armed men pushed their way into the building just as the office was opening to receive its first customers for the day.

The footage shows some of those waiting outside the building included pensioners with walking sticks, who all tried to flee once it became clear that the three men were, in fact, robbers.

Shilimela said the guard who was on duty is not from his security company as he only has the tender for the CCTV.

In the video, the armed robbers overpowered the guard, who fell to the ground.

Namibian Sun also used the opportunity to ask Shilimela about accusations that he his security company does not security guards employed there, which he denied.

“Most of those accusations are not correct. I have sent through the proof of payment to NBC on the last story they ran and I can share it with you as well. If people want me to answer to allegations, I have fought for freedom of speech, I will show the proof. I am willing to share my books,” he said.

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