Namibia
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Offenders risk their lives hiding phones in rectums

Assistant commissioner for correctional operations Oscar Numwa has urged the public to refrain from smuggling contraband goods into the country’s correctional facilities.

He also referred to an incident in which an offender lost his life after inserting a cellphone into his rectum.

The inmate did not eat for some days, claiming he was fasting, until the phone was discovered.

“Some offenders are still found with cellphones through X-rays at the facilities,” Numwa said.

He was speaking at an anti-contraband awareness campaign and media open day at the Windhoek Correctional Facility on Thursday.

The campaign is aimed at educating inmates, officers and the public on the dangers of smuggling prohibited items, such as cellphones, tobacco, knives, money and drugs into correctional facilities.

Numwa said prohibited items hinder the rehabilitation of offenders and threaten their safety and security.

In a another incident, an offender was found to have a cellphone and charger in his stomach and required an operation to remove this, he said.

Numwa said two plastic bottles containing 290g of tobacco and over 50g of dagga, thought to have been thrown across the fence, were found alongside the prison yard fence last month.

The Namibian Correctional Service (NCS) is calling on the public’s cooperation to curb these criminal acts, he said.

He said if an offender is found in possession of contraband, their prison sentence would be increased.

Numwa further said all inmates are subjected to full-body searches before and after moving within the facility.

All liquid items are examined by medical officers to determine the presence of drugs or alcohol before they are handed over to an offender.

Numwa said two correctional officers are currently on suspension after being found in possession of contraband meant to be handed over to offenders.

One officer allegedly tried to smuggle a cellphone and SIM cards into prison through a coffee container.

Another had brought in a vehicle containing contraband, he said.

Inmates engage in fighting and scams, such as selling vehicles that do not exist, Numwa warned.

This year, 105 cellphones were discovered by officers at various public venues hidden for offenders to get hold of.

As a result, cooked food brought in by visitors has been prohibited.

Another contraband awareness campaign will be hosted in Windhoek on Saturday.