Earlier this week, a 49-year old Namibian man was arrested in Windhoek for selling and producing child pornography. He was in Namibian Police custody, and his first tribunal appearance was on Tuesday, 5th of April 2020, in the magistrate’s court.
The suspect is Johann Wickus Maree, a 49-year old Namibian resident, an alleged private investigator, and a “sports photographer.” The suspect owned a dark web site named “Boy Idols,” from which he would sell photos of young male models in swimwear and clothing. He would also post videos of minor boys on a dark web forum.
He was investigated since 2019, and the evidence was discovered by the Namibian Police in collaboration with the Netherlands police, the South African police, and Interpol.
The Nampol raided his house on Thursday, the 30th of April. They found evidence such as hardware, computers, and other objects that link him to the crimes.
As reported by the chief spokesperson of the Namibian Police, deputy commissioner Kauna Shikwambi, the videos contained several minors performing sexual acts in bathrooms where video cameras were planted. Some videos, also obtained from covert cameras, were recordings of minors boys visiting the restroom at a public swimming pool. He also filmed himself engaging in sexual acts with his victims.
Charges after the preliminary trial
He was accused of forty charges, which involved up to thirty-four children as young as 9 years old. Eight under-aged boys were sexually abused and raped between 2016 and 2020, and an additional fourteen victims have been identified. Police are reaching for witnesses’ statements. The other twelve victims have yet to be traced.
Johann Wickus Maree was charged with rape, immoral acts with minors under the age of sixteen, indecent assault, charges of using children to create child pornography, trafficking by recruiting under-age boys for sexual exploitation.
After being informed of the serious charges, he stated that he’d be applying for a public defender. The suspect also said that he didn’t want to apply for bail at this stage.
Investigation continues while the suspect is in custody, and the case was postponed until the 28th of August.
The Namibian Police encourages citizens and parents to contact the national head of the Criminal Investigation Directorate, commissioner Nelius Becker, at (061) 209 3252 or 081 129 9215. Alternatively, detective chief inspector Pennies Olivier at 081 421 0903 if their children have been in contact with the suspect.