13 October 2017

Namibia: Suspected Angolan Drug Mule's Trial Deferred

Windhoek — The trial of Angolan national Joao Huyeye, who is accused of attempting to smuggle drugs worth close to half a million Namibian dollars in his digestive system was placed on hold to wait for the designated magistrate.

Huyeye, 41, is on trial on a charge of drug dealing in cocaine and an alternative charge of being in possession of cocaine worth N$423,500, following his arrest at Hosea Kutako International Airport (HKIA) last year.

State Prosecutor Menencia Hinda this week informed the court that the trial cannot resume as scheduled as the magistrate dealing with Huyeye's trial was not available due to medical reasons.

The case of Huyeye, who is in police custody, was to be heard by Magistrate Elina Nandago in Windhoek Regional Court in Katutura on Thursday. He was arrested in December 2016 following an anonymous tip-off to the police.

Following his arrest, the police discovered that Huyeye had foreign substances in his digestive tract, which was later confirmed to be cocaine. Detective Chief Inspector Immanuel Namundjembo during his testimony informed the court that Huyeye's stomach was flushed and 123 oval 'cocaine bullets' wrapped in plastic were retrieved.

Huyeye, who has denied guilt, has been in police custody since, as the State fears that should he be released on bail, he will abscond to his native country and not stand trial for his alleged offences.

Forensics have confirmed that the 123 oval bullets excreted by Huyeye at Katutura Intermediate Hospital contained cocaine. The bullets were subsequently confiscated by the police.

According to police reports, Huyeye was lucky to have survived the journey, as some of the cocaine bullets were about to burst, while others had burst already. The Angolan national was in transit from Sao Paulo, Brazil via South Africa en route to Angola via Namibia when Namibian police intelligence detained him at HKIA.

Magistrate Nandago postponed the matter to be heard on October 25, remanding Huyeye in custody at Katutura police station.

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