Namibian, US, German states not involved in security alert: police

19th November 2010, Comments 0 comments

The Namibian, US and German governments were not involved in an alert in which a US-made dummy was put on a Munich-bound charter plane to test security checks, police said here Friday.

"It will be determined who deposited it. The governments of the US, Germany and Namibia were not aware of the parcel," police inspector general Sebastian Ndeitunga told reporters.

"It is devoid of truth that the US government put the device there to test how good the Namibian security is," Ndeitunga added.

Namibian authorities on Wednesday intercepted a parcel which contained batteries that were attached with wires to a "detonator" and a ticking clock, which was to be loaded into an Air Berlin flight.

German Interior Minister Thomas de Maiziere Friday said the device was a harmless US-made dummy used to test security checks.

"Namibia is a sovereign state, you cannot just come here and plant something without our permission," Ndeitunga said.

He added that such devices were sent some five years ago to two African countries for training purposes.

"The device in the laptop bag had a label on it with a sticker of a US company Larry Coppello Inc," he said.

"Our experts put the bag in a safe place and then disconnected the parts. The charger was for 500 grams," Ndeitunga added. "If governments were involved they would not have spent public resources sending their staff here."

The threat came after German government hiked security measures at rail stations, airports and other public spaces, after a tip-off from a "foreign partner" about an attack planned this month.

The Air Berlin plane with 296 passengers and 10 crew members on board was delayed six hours before being cleared for take-off to Munich, where it arrived safely early Thursday morning.

© 2010 AFP

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