LILONGWE-(MaraviPost)-The Lilongwe Chief Resident magistrate Court Chipao this week convicted two women; Doreen Nguluwe and Patricia Kamwendo to two years in jail with hard labour and MK500,000.00 fine each for being found guilty of possessing and attempting to export the Dangerous Drugs.
Kamwendo, 38 years and Nguluwe aged 36 were found guilty for the offense of being found in possession of dangerous drugs called “Apomorphine HC powder” weighing 3.68 kilograms and attempting to export the same.
According to the Kamuzu International Airport (KIA) spokesperson, Sapulain Chitonde the court heard that the two accused persons had to wrap the said powder inside bungles (rings) 93 of them and were to be exported to Spain through FEDEX Company which deals with importation and exportation of goods.
Chitonde added that the carton was intercepted by police officers at KIA Cargo building earlier this month and upon physically checked it was discovered that the contents in the carton were bungles which contained the said powder.
Investigations were carried out which led to the arrest of the owner of the carton who turned to be the accused persons on the 16th December 2017.
They were brought to court where they pleaded guilty and in mitigation they asked for leniency from the court stating that they have a big responsibility of looking after their children and families and that the first convict (Patricia Kamwendo) has a small baby who needs her care but earlier on the Deputy Director Chafikana SACP asked the court to pass an immediate custodial sentence of not less than 5 years considering the following factors;
(1) The offences they have been convicted of are serious in nature and that if the drug had reached Spain and that security entities in Spain intercept the it ,would’ve painted a bad image to our country.
(2) This was a planned and organised crime as the two had to sit down and plan how to conceal the powder this means they knew that the powder was a dangerous drug.
(3) according to the facts of the case this was an organised and cross-border crime since the accused themselves admitted that the drug was from Mozambique en- route to Spain and Malawi should not be used as a transit country for drug trafficking and passing an immediate custodial sentence of not less than 5 years would delter others would be offenders and show to the World that Malawi is indeed fighting against drug trafficking.
“In passing the sentence the Chief Resident Magistrate said the first accused (Patricia Kamwendo) was just sent by the 2nd convict (Doreen Nguluwe) and that her level of participation was low whilst the second convict (Doreen Nguluwe) was the master-minder and that she knew that she was committing a crime.
“This was in addition to what the State prosecutor said in asking the court to pass a custodial sentence, she therefore proceeded sentencing them as follows first convict (Patricia Kamwendo) MK500,000.00 fine in default two year with hard labour and second convict (Doreen Nguluwe) two years as well in jail without fine, the drugs to be destroyed,” said Chitonde.