Sexagenarian guilty of drug dealing

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SWAKOPMUND, 07 July 2017 - Seventy-two parcels of dagga worth N.dollars 153 300 confiscated by police from dealers in Mondesa, Swakopmund. (Photo: Contributed)

Maria Amakali

Windhoek-A 69-year-old man was found guilty by the Windhoek Regional Court for dealing in 75 kg of dagga with a street value of N$225 000.

Magistrate Ileni Velikoshi found John David Toto guilty on a charge of dealing in prohibited dependence-producing substance but acquitted him on an alternative charge of being in possession of cannabis.

Toto was allegedly found in possession of 300 parcels containing cannabis weighing 75kg, with a street value of N$225 000.

“The court is satisfied that the state has proven beyond reasonable doubt that the accused was found in actual control and possession of three bags that contained 300 parcels and further that the accused was aware that the content contained in the bags was cannabis,” explained Velikoshi during his judgment. Toto was arrested on October 29, 2009 following a tip-off from an informer that he was expected to pick up drugs from a house located in the Otjomuise area of Windhoek.

Investigative officer Tjiarondo Mberuiana, who took the stand during the trial, informed the court that he and his fellow officers were deployed to watch the house from which Toto was expected to collect the drugs from.

Mberuiana further explained that around 20h00 on the day in question, Toto arrived at the house in Otjimuise in a brown Volkswagen Passat, where he was seen collecting three bags.

After collecting the bags, he got into his car and drove off. Mberuiana and his colleagues informed their colleagues who have set up a road block on Moses Garoeb road in Otjomuise, who then apprehended Toto. Cannabis leaves and seeds contained in 300 parcels were found in the three bags which were loaded in the vehicle.

In his defence, Toto has denied that he was transporting bags that contained cannabis. He explained that he picked up boxes and not bags which only contained jackets and not Cannabis.

Further, he added that he only picked up the boxes on the request of his friend Nxonxo, who at the time was allegedly in South Africa. In a different version, Toto informed the court that he picked up the boxes because his friend Nxonxo was unable to do so because his car had broken down and upon his arrest he offered to take the police to Nxonxo’s house where he was.

Velikoshi threw out Toto’s version of events, stating that it was false beyond reasonable doubt. Toto is expected back in court on August 3, following a postponement by the court, for mitigation before he is sentenced.

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