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Namibia airport security chief arrested in dummy bomb case

Police have arrested the head of airport security at Namibia's main airport on charges he planted a dummy explosive device in luggage destined for a German flight earlier this week, Germany's interior ministry said on Saturday.
/ Source: Reuters

Police have arrested the head of airport security at Namibia's main airport on charges he planted a dummy explosive device in luggage destined for a German flight earlier this week, Germany's interior ministry said on Saturday.

Citing Namibian authorities, an interior ministry spokesman said the man was arrested for having placed a bag containing a simulated detonator on a luggage conveyor belt, and that he had admitted to doing so.

"The Namibian police have informed us that the head of Windhoek airport security was arrested yesterday evening," a spokesman said, declining to be named. "Namibian police have no knowledge as to a possible motive," he added.

German police had dispatched experts shortly after the detonator was discovered to join a task force in Namibia that also included the FBI and Namibian police.

Police found the laptop bag, which contained a test detonator and clock — in routine security checks at Windhoek airport before an Air Berlin flight to Munich on Wednesday, sparking concerns in Germany which is on heightened security alert.

Police in Namibia, a former German colony neighboring South Africa, subsequently confirmed the detonator was an explosive simulation training device manufactured by a U.S. company.

In Windhoek on Saturday, police Deputy Inspector-General Vilio Hifindaka told Reuters the suspect, arrested on Friday, would be brought before court on Monday.

"The suspect was identified using CCTV footage. On the footage the suspect was seen handling the parcel," he said.

"We do not know if the suspect was working alone or whether there are third parties involved," he added. "The investigation into this is still ongoing."