Angolan suspected drug mule denied bail

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Maria Amakali

Windhoek-An Angolan national who was apprehended on suspicion of being in possession of cocaine at Hosea Kutako International Airport on Sunday, was denied bail upon making his first appearance in court yesterday.
Kula Lourenco, 52, is charged with a count of dealing in cocaine worth N$245,000 after the police found foreign substances believed to be cocaine in his digestive system at the airport. Making his first appearance before magistrate Michelle Kubersky, Lourenco was informed through an interpreter that the state strongly opposes his release on bail on grounds he may abscond to his native country and not stand trial.

Prosecutor Victoria Thompson explained it would not be in the public or justice’s interest given the seriousness of the offence and the amount involved for the court to release Lourenco on bail.

According to Namibian Police spokesperson Chief Inspector Kaunapawa Shikwambi, Lourenco is said to have swallowed the plastic-coated capsules containing cocaine to conceal them from the authorities.

“He was taken for medical examination and 70 capsules suspected to contain cocaine were found in his rectum, at Katutura hospital,” explained Shikwambi. The drugs, estimated to be worth N$245,000, were flushed out.

The 52-year-old is said to be a drug mule who was transporting cocaine through Johannesburg from Sao Poalo, Brazil, to Hosea Kutako International Airport, Windhoek. The accused was intercepted upon arrival at the airport during a joint operation between Nampol and Brazil Federal Police through Interpol, which gave an alert on a possible drug mule.

The Namibian Police cautioned all drug dealers and users in Namibia, including visitors, that the police would ultimately catch up with them, even those who try to outsmart the police in terms of illicit drugs. “The youth are particularly urged to refrain from drugs or suffer the consequences, should they be arrested,” noted Shikwambi.
The court postponed the matter to June 20 to give ample time to Lourenco to obtain legal counsel and for the finalisation of police investigations and lab results.

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