Mashudu Netsianda, Senior Court Reporter
A WOMAN from Bulawayo and her boyfriend have been arrested for possessing 2kg of crystal methamphetamine, a dangerous drug in the same class as cocaine, worth more than $120 000 which was smuggled from India concealed under a consignment of weaves.
Judith Phiri (24) of Killarney suburb and Keith Mpofu (24) of Pumula North were nabbed by detectives who acted on a tip-off from officials of the Zimbabwe Revenue Authority (Zimra) upon receiving the suspicious parcel which arrived via Courier Connect.
The consignment of two boxes containing 25 packets of weaves had 1,980kg of crystal methamphetamine stashed in between the layers of boxes.
Yesterday Phiri and Mpofu jointly appeared before Bulawayo magistrate Mr Tinashe Tashaya facing charges of violating section 157 (1) (a) of the Criminal Law (Codification and Reform) Act (possession of crystal methamphetamine).
Mpofu and Phiri, through their lawyers Messrs Lament Ngwenya and Siphosethu Nkomo of Mathonsi Ncube Law Chambers, applied for bail, which the State opposed.
They were both remanded in custody to Monday for bail ruling.
Prosecuting, Mr Mufaro Mageza said on August 20, detectives from CID Drugs and Narcotics in Bulawayo received information from Zimra officials that there was a suspicious parcel at Courier Connect which had arrived from India. The parcel was addressed to Phiri.
“Armed with the information, detectives carried out a surveillance so that they could identify the owner of the parcel. They then observed Phiri collecting the parcel and she was in the company of Mpofu,” said Mr Mageza.
He said detectives approached the two accused persons soon after they had collected the parcel and introduced themselves before requesting to search the parcel. “On searching the parcel, detectives recovered 1,980kg of crystal methamphetamine hidden in a consignment of weaves. The drugs were placed in between two boxes containing the weaves,” said Mr Mageza.
The “couple” and its parcel were taken to the CID Drugs and Narcotics section where a drug preliminary test was conducted on the powder and it tested positive for crystal methamphetamine leading to Phiri and Mpofu’s arrest.
The drugs, valued at $118 800, were subsequently seized by the police.
According to the United States-based Foundation for a Drug-Free World, an organisation that focuses on the elimination of drug and alcohol abuse and its resulting criminality, crystal methamphetamine is classified under dangerous and potent chemicals.
Just like all drugs, it is a poison that first acts as a stimulant but then begins to systematically destroy the body. It is associated with serious health conditions, including memory loss, aggression, psychotic behaviour and potential heart and brain damage.
It is highly addictive and burns up the body’s resources, creating a devastating dependence that can only be relieved by taking more of the drug.
Bulawayo is battling a growing drug menace with residents particularly worried about the rise in cases of drug addiction among youths.
Drug abuse is rife at so called Vuzu parties. — @mashnets.