A 41-year-old Angolan drug mule, who allegedly swallowed 123 cocaine bullets in an attempt to smuggle them through airport security, is expected to appear in Windhoek Magistrate’s Court today on charges of drug trafficking.
He was arrested at Hosea Kutako International Airport (HKIA) on Monday night following an intelligence-led police investigation. The seized cocaine weighs 847 grams and has an estimated street value of N$423 500.
The drug trafficker – whose name is being withheld until he appears in court – was hospitalised after his arrest, where the cocaine bullets were flushed out of his body through inducement. He has since been discharged from hospital.
Cocaine bullets are typically swallowed and the person transporting the contraband in this manner is not expected to consume any food or to drink anything, as doing so could result in the bullets bursting in their stomach, triggering a deadly reaction. They are also at a risk of a drug overdose if the plastic-coated wrappers rupture in their body, which can be fatal.
Chief Inspector Kauna Shiwambi said the suspect was on his way from Sao Paolo, Brazil through South Africa to Namibia. He would have then travelled on to Angola.
New Era is, however, reliably informed that a Nigerian drug dealer was expected to receive the cocaine here in Namibia. “The business is so lucrative that they take such chances, such as (swallowing them),” remarked a source in the know.
It is yet unclear as yet how the suspect passed through the South African and Sao Paolo airport security units.
HKIA has been making headlines in recent months due to foreign nationals attempting to smuggle illegal products through the airport.
Shikwambi said the police commend those citizens who opt not to be bystanders but to report criminal dealings. “It is our plea that all Namibians choose to be law-abiding citizens.”
In an unrelated smuggling incident, a Namibian male was arrested at Oshivelo checkpoint with boxes of Yes cigarettes worth around N$45 200.