Drug case involving flight crew members postponed

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Maria Amakali

Windhoek-The case of two suspects accused of using the national carrier, Air Namibia, for drug dealing purposes, was this week postponed by a makeshift airport court as one of the accused persons had to urgently travel out of the country.

Cabin attendant Percival Mensah, 35, and his co-accused, Clint Chundve Hill, 25, were arrested in December 2016 in connection with 10 kg of heroine with a street value of N$5 million that was reportedly discovered in their luggage at Hosea Kutako International airport (HKIA).

According to the prosecution, the docket was not available at court for the proceedings, as it was still with the drug law enforcement unit of the police and the matter was still under police investigation. Furthermore, the lab results were still outstanding.

“My client will be travelling to Mali, thus the lengthy postponement,” said attorney Hendjamba, Hill’s defence attorney, during court proceedings at HKIA Magistrate’s Court yesterday.

Although necessary arrangements were made for Hill’s travel, his attorney did not divulge why the suspect had to leave the country with a pending matter at hand, although it was reportedly not the first time he had to leave the country since charges were first laid against him.

The two deny any wrongdoing and have pleaded not guilty to the charge of dealing in a potentially dangerous dependence-producing drug. It is alleged on December 17, 2016 the heroin was discovered by airport police during a routine inspection before departure at HKIA.

The police detected a suspicious substance that was later confirmed to be heroine hidden in the cabin attendant’s check-in luggage of Namibia airline staff en route to Frankfurt. The police on duty could not immediately establish who the luggage containing drugs belonged to, although they had enquired.

Mensah was later apprehended after he handed himself over to the police. His co-accused was arrested a few days later. The duo were granted bail of N$10,000 each in December 2016.

Magistrate Victor Nyazo extended Mensah and Hill’s bail and scheduled the matter to be heard on August 11.

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