Wanted murder suspect implicated in farm attack

Niël Terblanché

One of the five suspects being sought after by Namibian Police in the Otjozondjupa region in connection with the attack on Udo Gartner, 70, on his farm near Grootfontein on Sunday night has been apprehended.

According to Inspector Maureen Mbeha, the suspect was apprehended at a roadblock near Otjiwarongo in connection with a murder investigation in Tsumeb.

He was arrested for murder and then named as a suspect in the farm attack case.

“Police officers discovered a firearm in his possession that had been stolen from the farm on Sunday evening. The pistol in question was a Vzor70. They also discovered one of the stolen laptop computers from the farm near Grootfontein,” she said.

She indicated that during an interrogation, the suspect highlighted to officers where he had hidden the clothes he was wearing during the crime on Sunday evening.

“Detectives discovered the garments in a black plastic bag among the bushes, where the suspect is said to have hidden them. The driver who transported and dropped off the suspects at the farm during the night of the armed robbery was also detained for interrogation,” she said.

Inspector Mbeha stated that the suspect is set to appear in the Tsumeb Magistrate’s Court today (Thursday) for the murder charge, after which he would be transferred to the Grootfontein Magistrate’s Court for the armed robbery hearing.

The perpetrator and four of his friends pretended to be Namibian Police officers during the farm attack.

One of the robbers was clothed in the camouflaged clothing from the Special Field Force, while the other suspects wore reflector jackets often worn by Namibian police officers.

The group stormed the farmhouse, demanded that the owner open his safe and the victim obeyed, but the attackers assaulted him on the head and arms with the butts of the rifles they were carrying. The victim’s wife was not attacked.

In their search for the fake cop and his four colleagues, police returned to the crime scene and discovered that the robbery group had also robbed international guests staying at the farm’s guest house.

The robbers stole four iPhones, a Nikon camera, jewelry such as rings and earrings, and N$6000 in cash and gadgets worth N$178 116.20.

The suspect, according to Inspector Mbeha, is a 37-year-old man who lives in Grootfontein.

“The four remaining suspects are still at large; however, investigators are hard at work following every piece of information in order to find them and get them behind bars,” she said.

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