16 September 2017

Lesotho: Duo Jailed Over Illegal Diamonds

Photo: The Herald
(File photo).

Two men who were found in illegal possession of diamonds will spend six years in jail after failing to pay the alternative fine.

Ntemekoane Chapa (27) who resides at Ha Tsautse in Maseru and 26 year old Nthule Lets'olo who resides in Ha Nyenye in Maputsoe, were both found guilty by the Maseru Magistrates Court on 1 September for illegally trading in diamonds.

They were each sentenced to 15 years imprisonment with an option of paying a M10 000 fine each.

The court further suspended part of the sentence, leaving them with the option of paying M2000 each or facing six years in prison. They however, failed to pay the fine.

Police Spokesperson, Inspector Mpiti Mopeli, said the two were caught fighting over the diamonds by the Ha-Hohlo community in Maseru on August 28 2017 at about 3pm.

"The community of Ha-Hohlo tried to intervene in this fight and that was when they realised that the men were fighting over illegal diamonds," Inspector Mopeli said adding that the community then reported the duo to the police.

The police found two diamonds in their possession, one a rough 11.33 carat diamond worth M41 991 and the other a polished 2.87 carat diamond worth M 120 558.

The accused told the police that they bought the diamonds from a man who obtained them at Kao Mine. The diamonds were retained by the court.

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