by Charmaine Ngatjiheue

THE police have dished out fines of close to N$100 000 to people who contravened the alcohol ban between 5 and 25 May.

Photo: Henry Van Rooi

This was said by Khomas regional police commander Joseph Shikongo at a press briefing yesterday, who said 49 people had been arrested for either buying or selling alcohol during that period.

He reiterated that the smuggling of alcohol from Angola continues to increase.

“From 5 to 25 May, about 49 suspects were arrested for dealing with alcohol, either buying or selling and an amount of N$60 000 was paid in fines during this period.

“This was just 20 days. About N$38 000 is outstanding because the law is clear, in the sense that when someone is arrested, they are not compelled to pay the fine immediately because the person may have an objection and wants to go to court. There are those that realised they were in conflict with the law, admitted guilt and paid the fine,” he said.

The police commander said the police are facing challenges of curbing the smuggling of alcohol from Angola.

The ban on the sale of alcohol was imposed under the state of emergency and has led to more cases of smuggled alcohol. “We are facing challenges with individuals that are continuously selling smuggled alcohol in contravention of the state of emergency as well as customs and exercise regulations. On 26 May a suspect was arrested in possession of 37 whiskey sachets, smuggled from Angola. Last week we made people pay a fine of N$8 000 for violating this act. We are going to apply Regulation 7 as well as the customs and excise regulations,” Shikongo said.

He added that on 25 May, large quantities of alcohol were seized after midnight along Hendrik Witbooi Road in Pionierspark, Windhoek.

Shikongo dismissed allegations that police officers consume confiscated alcohol because police officers do not benefit from any products confiscated from members of the public. He added that once the police confiscate the items, they are booked in.

“We have confiscated so much alcohol that we do not have space any more to keep it and this contradicts the statement that we consume confiscated alcohol. I am challenging members of the public to give us that information if they have any.

“If you see a police officer confiscating anything and using it for their own benefit, report it immediately and we will take appropriate action to ensure these people are dealt with in conformity of the law. We do not allow officers to abuse their power, by confiscating items and use them for their own benefit,” he said.

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