The Inspector-General of the Namibian Police Force (NamPol), Lieutenant-General Sebastian Ndeitunga said this while addressing a business meeting for stakeholders at the Namibia-Angola border business centre of Oshikango in the Ohangwena Region recently.
Ndeitunga said the trend of people acquiring large quantities of Angolan fuel, which is regarded as poorly refined, still persists.
The NamPol chief noted that buying fuel in Angola is to a large extent crippling the business in Oshikango and the economy of Namibia in general.
“In this connection, efforts were made to address the situation by opening criminal cases against those found with over 200l of fuel without a trading licence,” Ndeitunga told the audience.
This, according to Ndeitunga, is sparked by some Namibians and Angolans who have been observed conniving to smuggle fuel from Angola into Namibia.
Fuel from Angola is cheaper than fuel sold in Namibia.
It is reported that motorists fill the tanks of their vehicles at the Santa Clara business centre in Angola for about half the price they would pay in Namibia.
Some individuals transport fuel in containers from Angola through ungazetted points of entry along the border to sell to taxi operators and other motorists in the informal settlements in Namibia.
“This is a serious cause for concern, as it has been observed that people drive as far as the Karas Region with trucks to Oshikango or Angola to buy fuel,” Ndeitunga stated.
The NamPol Inspector-General noted that the illegal importing of fuel from Angola into Namibia is on the increase, and there is a serious concern for the safety of dwellers in the informal settlements, where containers of smuggled fuel are stored in shanty houses.
With regards to organised crime, Ndeitunga said there is a system of manufacturing Angolan vehicle registration number plates in Oshikango, which are used in smuggling imported vehicles into Angola.
These number plates, according to Ndeitunga, are used to create an impression that the vehicles were already registered in Angola.