WINDHOEK (Reuters) – Namibian police reported on Tuesday a jump in people smuggling beers and whisky from neighbouring Angola and Zambia, using illegal border crossings to beat a ban on alcohol sales that is part of the country’s plan to slow the spread of coronavirus.
The south western African nation has, like a number of other countries, matched restrictions on movement with curbs on booze as a means of enforcing social distancing – a strategy challenged by some experts and unpopular with many citizens.
Namibia has so far seen 16 confirmed cases of coronavirus, with no deaths. Under lockdown laws, only the sale of liquor with an alcohol content of 3% or less is permitted.
Police spokesman Linekeela Shikongo told local media there had been an “overwhelming increase” in the sale of Angolan beer in northern Namibia, while the Zambezi region in the north east had seen a steep rise in spirits smuggled from Zambia.