Tsumeb baby kidnappers denied bail

Obrein Simasiku

A 23-year-old woman accused of kidnapping a baby boy, together with two of her accomplices were denied bail in the Tsumeb Magistrate’s Court.

The main suspect Albertina Jason, who was initially reported as missing, was finally arrested on Monday, at Oshaandja village, 7 km from Oshakati West in Oshana Region, after nearly two weeks since she abducted a three-month-old bay in Tsumeb.

The trio face charges of kidnapping. Jason appeared in Tsumeb Magistrate’s Court today, where she was denied bail and her case postponed, while her co-accused Lydia Kaunehafo Shimbilinga, 21, and her brother Joseph Natangwe Shatilwe, were equally remanded in custody, with their next court appearance slated for 17 August. Shimbilinga and Shatilwe hail from Ohnele-yiwa village in Ohangwena region, while Jason is from Onakasino village in Oshikoto region.

“She [Jason] was found with the three-month-old baby boy, who was identified by his 18 years old mother from Onhele-yiwa village. The baby was medically checked by a Doctor and was confirmed to be in good health and consequently handed over to the mother,” said national police head of public relations Deputy Commissioner Kauna Shikwambi.

According to the police, it is alleged that the mother of the baby was lured to Tsumeb a fortnight ago, after receiving an offer to work as a domestic worker. When she arrived in Tsumeb, an unidentified man and a woman known her met; “then they gave her N$400 to purchase food at a local retail; leaving her baby with one of the suspects and she entered the shop.”

However, when she returned from the shop, the suspect and the baby were nowhere to be found, says the report, adding that, “the mother tried to contact the woman on her phone, but it was switched off.” The police were ultimately alerted and investigations launched, says Shikwambi.

The main suspect, Jason, allegedly left Tsumeb on the pretext of visiting her boyfriend in Oshakati, but she never reached neither returned, raising suspicions, with her family also reporting her as missing. However, it was established that she was in hiding.

Shikwambi has cautioned mothers as well as fathers ‘’to safeguard their babies and children at all times, because lately kids can be stolen for various reasons’’.

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