Police in the Grootfontein district of Otjozondjupa Region have arrested six men for illegal possession of copper worth N$3 million.
The copper is believed to be originally from the consignment of copper that went missing while en-route from Kitwe, Zambia to Europe. The arrest of the six men took place at a farm near Grootfontein on Wednesday after a tip-off from the public.
The recovered copper cathodes weigh 34 tons and are believed to have been stolen from Andrei van der Walt’s truck port in the Swakopmund area.
Police believe the suspects intended to sell the copper cathodes at Bendo Stein farm in the Grootfontein district. “The copper cathodes were brought to the farm on Wednesday morning at around six o’clock. Two trailers containing copper were left,” said Tsumeb Police Deputy Commissioner William Peter.
The suspects were identified as Joseph Tjipute (34), Saganas Kashukile (34), Zebby Kaurivi (30) and Petrus Ernest Doeseb (29) while the other two suspects were released after thorough interrogations revealed the driver and co-driver of the truck transporting the copper were not involved in the multi-million-dollar heist.
“A member of the community informed police of individuals trying to find customers interested in buying copper. We then arranged a sting operation where operatives posed as buyers. The thieves took the bait and we arrested them,” explained Peter.
The deputy commissioner applauded members of the public for their cooperation and asked them to continue assisting police towards reducing crime in the regions.