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Rampant cargo theft at Walvis bay in Namibia. Authorities not acting.

Walvis Bay, – Some theft activities at Walvis Bay in Namibia seem to have gone unchecked for a very long time and one wonders whether the authorities are not part of it.

Walvis Bay has been one of the most favoured ports for its geographical location, but the favoured port is now a hub of somewhat coordinated syndicate of thieves stealing anything from motor vehicle parts to personal clothing and belongings of customers, some of whom are returnees to their home countries especially Zimbabwe.

Vehicle parts such as Engine Control Unit (ECU) or Engine Control Module (ECM) are very important and expensive motor vehicle components which regulate the performance of an engine, so losing them is generally similar to losing the whole vehicle. But thieves apparently target them for their high value and demand. Not only such vehicle parts get stolen but that includes vehicle tyres and batteries of all sizes as well. New and good tyres on motor vehicles are often replaced with the worn out and unroadworthy tyres, leaving the owners of those vehicles susceptible to fatal accidents and or risking their vehicles impounded by vehicle inspection department (VID) or by the police.

This risk to people’s lives is so serious that these cases need urgent action by the Namibian authorities. Those that steal vehicle parts and tyres risking people’s lives should be brought to book and face justice.

The involvement of some high ranking officials from both public and private institutions cannot be sparsely ruled out given the time it takes to jag, strip off and swap tyres from heavy duty trucks let alone stripping of ECUs. This is a hard labour and time consuming job, which cannot be completed within minutes.

Consequently, there is definitely someone of authority around to give cover to those stripping vehicles or conversely, there is kind of a garage situated within the docking premises where such work is undertaken under the pretext of fixing those vehicles. One cannot imagine such a huge kind of job taking place in the absence of anyone in charge of the premise.

The absence of corporate governance in this respect is quite vivid given the persistence of such incidents. The maritime trade is highly susceptible to uncertainty every time a ship sets off on a voyage particularly nowadays where climate change is causing unpredictable storm and other nature related accidents that delays are inevitable. Consequently, in the event of such delays taking place, people cannot be expected to be at the dock continuously until the ship docks, they are bound to make alternative arrangements that will see them staying away from the docking premises. That having happened, ships can arrive while the customers are still away and not present when their vehicles are offloaded. That then places their vehicles at risk of being burgled and surely not everyone can be expected back to the dock on time for various reasons.

Therefore, it is incumbent upon the docks authority to provide security for their customers’ consignments, even if it means having to charge the consignees for the protection of their property. However, the idea of expecting customers to be available while their vehicles are being off loaded from the ship, despite being the standard procedure, beers testimony that the theft practice has been an ongoing thing for quite some time and that creates some kind of loop hole for theft to take place. Yet even so, the question still remains as to why nothing is being done to stop it.

Talking from experience, i shipped a van to Zimbabwe through Walvis Bay, the can was stripped of half its contents by the Walvis Bay workers. This is very concerning, how many other clients are losing their hard earned possessions? Its high time the Namibian authorities do something about this.

Below are pictures and video of our ransacked vehicle

At times people get charged an unanticipated amount of duty that they will have no option but to leave their vehicles behind to go and fetch more money. It is during this time that the vultures sharpen their beak to devour their unsuspecting prey. This kind of practice only shows an exceedingly amount of corruption going on.

Because how can people have their vehicles stripped to a useless junk if the police and or security were assigned to protect a busy and important international trading place like Walvis Bay.

Can the Namibian authorities explain something about this kind of thing happening in their country?

Zimbabweans should we start using other ports?

Please read this article.

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