Two tourists were robbed of their belongings behind the parliament building in Windhoek yesterday, after which the unidentified criminals sped off with the tourists' car.
Marshal Rangers’ Sheriff Shaun Naude confirmed the sad incident to The Villager but indicated that, fortunately, the car whose registration number is 437/03/2018, was later found dumped.
It is presently not known how much was the worth of the stolen goods but investigations are continuing.
Said the Sheriff, “They were sight-seeing and taking photos and stuff and these guys came and held them up, telling them to give all their stuff over and once again which they do on a regular basis. They use the cars of the people they rob as getaway cars and they dump this,” he said.
The Sheriff said this has become a regular occurrence given that stolen cars have no market in Namibia unless they are the famous “Dankie Botswanas”.
Last year six such occurrences where documented by the Marshall ranger’s team, he said.
“So what they do is, they rob the people because they hide in the bushes there and once they rob the people they use their own cars as getaway cars. Nampol has recovered the car. They do not do anything to the car. They take anything they want out of the car and then they dump it,” he said.
Most of those that get stolen are taken at the back of Okuryangava and Goreangab and get stripped of their parts, said the Sheriff.
“Beginning of this year we had a couple that experienced the same thing, they were robbed. Basically they have no intention of harming the people. But they frighten them, scare them off, take their vehicles so that they can go and empty it wherever they are and then leave the vehicle,” he said.
He could not ascertain where the tourists come from but urged visitors and citizens to watch out and avoid getting into secluded places by themselves.
“It can happen in any country. This is not exclusive to Namibia. You do not go and park in secluded areas and not be cautious. People must know,” he said.
Meanwhile, the rangers have a tourists’ protection unit which works in close alliance with the police and can be reached at 085 919.
The ministry of tourism has also many times raised red cards over the growing attacks on tourists which has bad consequences for the tourism sector and the Namibian destination.
“We also call upon the judiciary to show no mercy on these suspects, as a way of discouraging this disturbing trend in our country. Tourism is a people-driven and people-centered industry and one thing is for sure that we cannot achieve our desired results if we pull in different directions.”
“The significance of tourism to our country cannot be overemphasized. The sector is an important contributor to the generation of foreign exchange earnings, investments, revenue, employment creation, rural development, poverty reduction and ultimately to the growth of the country’s economy,” the ministry’s spokesperson Romeo Muyunda, was quoted as saying.