Namibian authorities have launched an investigation into the death of Paulus Tshilunga, a senior intelligence officer found in his vehicle in Windhoek with a single gunshot wound to the head.
Tshilunga was a senior manager with the Namibia Central Intelligence Service (NCIS), and had worked as a spy since the country’s independence in 1990. While the death appears to be a suicide – the weapon used was his own gun, police said – they have not yet ruled out foul play.
Sebastian Ndeitunga, the inspector general for the Namibian Police Force, said it was rare for an intelligence officer to commit suicide and the police were not yet satisfied with the explanation. In part, that’s because of Tshilunga’s background, but it’s also because he was currently under investigation himself.
Tshilunga’s corruption charges were tied to an alleged USD$1.1 million (N$17 million) in money laundering, fraud and abuse of his office. He was released on bail and expected to appear for a pretrial hearing in October.
The case involves a fishing company co-owned by spies from Namibia and Mozambique, which has been granted Namibian fishing quotas since 2003. The corruption case broke last month, but Tshilunga’s identity was withheld to the public because of his intelligence-office status.
One of his counterparts in Mozambique also was charged with corruption, sources told The Namibian.
Namibia’s intelligence service was under scrutiny earlier this year after local journalists demanded information about farms and a house owned by the government and used by former agents. The NCIS tried to block release of the information, but lost when The Patriot news outlet took the case to court.