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The Head of the Windhoek Correctional Facility, Oscar Kasuka, has warned against smuggling contraband within the facility, saying it poses threats such as stalking, bullying, and the risk of escape.

Kasuka said this during the launch of the Anti-Contraband Campaign in Windhoek under the theme "Say No to Smuggling Contraband".
 
The campaign, which started last month, aims to raise public awareness regarding the dangers associated with smuggling contraband into correctional facilities.

"Most members of the public still do not understand when we are saying that contraband is prohibited in correctional facilities. We are saying that contraband is prohibited in the facilities because inmates engage themselves in various activities, such as fighting. Those that are found with mobile phones collaborate with outside people, and then they do scamming, sometimes selling vehicles, and a person might end up paying money and never getting it.

A total of 105 cellphones were confiscated from offenders, including from courts and hospitals.

"The others are drugs in the form of dagga, cocaine, which we normally find wrapped in items; sometimes it is floating in the water; in the toilets, it can be in the form of this small one; and some cocaine is sometimes wrapped in a small bag like cocaine on a chain; this is cocaine powder."

A recent incident resulted in the death of an offender who had inserted a Motorola mobile phone into his body.

"Inside the facility, when we conduct searches, an item can pass through because they do not have adequate items. When we do body searches, if somebody has an item in his rectum, you might not detect it easily, and as a result, it might penetrate and go inside."

He explained that offenders get drugs and sell them to others, and if they fail to pay, they use sharp objects to discipline others.

The Head of Security, David Shindome, says contraband is hidden in bean cans, pillows, radios, and shoes during visits.

The official will take the awareness campaign to the Black Chain in Katutura on the 24th of this month to educate the public about the hazards associated with contraband within the facility.

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MARIA JOHANNES / PEJARUKANI TJITUKA