Suspected Angolan drug mule pleads innocent

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Maria Amakali
Windhoek

An Angolan national, who was caught trying to smuggle drugs through his digestive system, has professed innocence saying he is not guilty.

Joao Huyeye, 41, took the stand yesterday in the Windhoek Magistrates’ Court in Katutura for the start of his trial.

Huyeye has been in custody since his arrest on 12 December 2016 after he was found in possession of 121 cocaine bullets weighing 847 grams with a street value of N$423 500.

The prosecution is charging Huyeye with drug dealing in cocaine, alternatively being found in possession of cocaine.

Huyeye, who entered a not guilty plea before Magistrate Alexis Diegaardt, explained through his defence counsel that the State should prove its case against him, as he wishes to remain silent.

Detective Chief Inspector Immanuel Namundjembo, from the Namibian Police Force (Nampol) drug unit, who was the first State witness to take the stand, explained that Huyeye was arrested after the police received a tip off that he is due to arrive at the Hosea Kutako International Airport on a flight from South Africa. The Angolan national was in transit from Sao Paulo, Brazil, via South Africa and Namibia en route to Angola when Nampol intelligence intercepted him.

The anonymous tip off indicated that he would be transporting a package that contained cocaine.
Upon his detention at the airport, Huyeye was taken to Katutura Intermediate Hospital, where his stomach was flushed of 123 cocaine bullets, which were objects wrapped in plastic and customarily swallowed by drug couriers.
The cocaine-laden bullets were subsequently confiscated by the police.

Namundjembo further informed the court that Huyeye had to be re-arrested after the mandatory 48-hour first appearance in court had lapsed due to miscommunication. The constitution states that once an arrest has made, a suspect should make his/her first appearance in court within 48 hours. Since that was not complied with at Huyeye’s first appearance, the case was subsequently struck from the court roll.
Huyeye’s trial is continuing and he will be appearing from custody after the court denied him bail.

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