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Zim drug mules face execution in Malaysia

by Byo24News
03 Apr 2011 at 20:42hrs | 527 Views
TWO Zimbabwean women face the death penalty in Malaysia after they appeared in court in the capital Kuala Lumpur last week facing charges of trafficking 7kg of cocaine worth US$900 000.

This comes as the Ministry of Foreign Affairs has warned Zimbabweans to be wary of international drug syndicates that reportedly target locals in their deals.

The drug cartels are increasingly using Zimbabweans as mules to take hard drugs to Asian countries, where such crimes attract the death sentence or life imprisonment.

The two women, Faith Rusere and Joyce Tafadzwa Munhenga (whose ages were not given), made their first court appearance in a Malaysian court last Monday after they were arrested recently for possession of 7kg of cocaine valued at US$900 000.

According to Malaysian police, the drugs were found hidden in the inner layer of a suitcase and in oil filters.

The two women, who have denied the charges, claim that the drugs were inserted into their luggage without their knowledge.

According to documents availed to reporters, Rusere was arrested at the Kuala Lumpur International Airport after she had travelled from South Africa to Malaysia via Ghana and Morocco purportedly to purchase the oil filters for a South African citizen.

She was arrested at the airport after police discovered 3,850kg of cocaine in the oil filters.

Munhenga was arrested when her suitcase, which she had travelled with from Mozambique, was confiscated at the Malaysian airport.

About 3,2kg of cocaine was discovered hidden in the suitcase's inner lining.
Secretary in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs Mr Joey Bimha confirmed the arrest of the two women. He said under Malaysian law, drug offences carried a mandatory death sentence, adding that Zimbabwe had little jurisdiction to intervene in the case.

"When our citizens are arrested, we can only provide assistance in the form of consular services.

"In Malaysia, the laws clearly spell out the death sentence when one is arrested and, unfortunately, we cannot interfere in any way with the laws of other countries," he said.

An official from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs who asked not to be named revealed that international drug syndicates were targeting Zimbabwean citizens to transport their consignments because locals had lesser chances of raising suspicion. This is the first case involving Zimbabweans in Malaysia.

Malaysia's charge d'affaires Mr Nijon Muhammad said his embassy holds pre-departure briefings with people travelling to inform them of the tough drug laws in his country.

In 2009, two Zimbabwean women were sentenced to death while 10 others were sentenced to life in prison after they were convicted of drug trafficking in China.

Source - Byo24News
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