The Namibian Police Force (NamPol)’s Deputy Inspector-General for Operations, Major General Elias Mutota, has commended the collaboration between the public and law enforcement agencies in the combating of crime.
Speaking to the media in Windhoek on Friday, Mutota attributed the success of a high-profile police operation last week to public’s trust in law enforcement.
During a sting operation in the capital on Tuesday, NamPol arrested 20 foreign nationals who allegedly recruited Namibian youth to conduct cryptocurrency scams on foreign nationals.
During the intelligence-led operation, the police raided six residences in the upmarket suburbs of Auasblick, Klein Kuppe, Klein Windhoek, as well as the offices of Raylon Investment at Shapumba Towers in the city centre.
Mutota said the suspects included 11 Chinese, five Zimbabweans, two Namibians, a Singaporean and a Cuban national.
In addition, 88 Namibian youth have been arrested for being accomplices to the crime.
He said the police received a tip-off about an alleged fraudulent scheme concerning a pig butchering cryptocurrency investment scheme.
“Young Namibians, mostly students, were recruited by suspected foreign nationals and trained to create false profiles on Facebook and Instagram to lure unsuspecting United States citizens into the scheme,” Mutota said.
The students, who were accommodated at various residences across the city, worked at night from 17h00 to convince American clients that the scammers were indeed in America.
“The students’ movements were strictly controlled, and they were also provided with company cellphones, which were collected when they went off duty—twice a week,” Mutato explained, adding that they were paid salaries ranging from N.dollars 3 000.
The suspects face criminal charges ranging from human trafficking to money laundering, fraud, and tax evasion. However, a total of 50 youth, aged between 20–25, have since agreed to collaborate with the police.
Mutota paid tribute to the police officers and stakeholders for their dedication to crime prevention.
“Moreover, to the public, because their trust and cooperation plays a vital role in assisting law enforcement officers in the execution of their mandate. May this success serve as a reminder of the importance of stakeholder, community and police collaboration. Together, we can create a safer Namibia,” he said.
Source: The Namibian Press Agency