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Courier dumps 695g of cocaine at lodge

by Staff reporter
09 Feb 2022 at 05:20hrs | Views
INVESTIGATIONS have revealed that the unknown Harare woman believed to be part of a drug trafficking syndicate who recruited and hired an Indian courier who abandoned 695g of cocaine worth over $6,5 million at a city lodge had used an online website for finding unsuspecting drug smugglers.

Police said the unsuspecting Indian man was probably lured into Zimbabwe by the syndicate after he was made to believe that he had found employment in the country.

On arrival on January 29 he was met by the woman and taken to Las Palms Lodge in the Avenues where she paid his accommodation bills.

Last Friday, the woman went to the lodge with some bags and ordered the Indian man to take the ‘parcels' back to India as part of his job.

The man became suspicious and informed some officials at the lodge about the stash before he decided to leave the bag at the lodge and disappeared. He is believed to have travelled back to India. T

he startled lodge staff then made a report to the police who searched and found artefacts and clothes inside the bags.

They also found white powder neatly concealed in the inner linings of the bags. This was weighed and tested and found to be cocaine.

Further tests revealed that the substance was pure cocaine.

National police spokesperson Assistant Commissioner Paul Nyathi said; "The ZRP is investigating a case of suspected drug trafficking in which an unknown Zimbabwean woman settled accommodation bills for an Indian national at a local lodge in Harare and on February 4, 2022. She later brought a parcel which she instructed the man to travel with back to India.

"The man discovered that the parcel contained cocaine and left the bag at the lodge before departing to India. A report was made to the police leading to the recovery of 695 grammes of cocaine with a street value of $6 505 200," he said.

This is not the first time that people have been arrested in the country for possession of cocaine.

In September last year, a South African drug mule caught with almost US$8 million of cocaine as she entered Zimbabwe to sell it wept uncontrollably and collapsed in court after chief magistrate Mr Munamato Mutevedzi committed her to an effective 10 years in jail.

Shila Khumalo (50) of Johannesburg, was shocked as the magistrate read her sentence, and burst into tears before collapsing, hitting her head hard on the ground.

Court officials, including prosecutors and prison officers, applied first aid and she recovered in time to be led down the cells in the lower levels of the Harare Magistrates Court.

Instead of going by truck to prison, a Zimbabwe Prisons and Correctional Services ambulance came and ferried her to a prison hospital.

Mr Mutevedzi had initially jailed Khumalo to 12 years before suspending two years on good behaviour.

Khumalo was arrested at Robert Gabriel Mugabe International Airport after being found with US$7,8 million worth of cocaine she had smuggled from Brazil. She was charged with dealing in dangerous drugs.

Source - The Herald
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