Zimbabwe: U.S.$290k Cocaine Pusher Gets Bail

A suspected Zimbabwean female drug peddler's ploy to smuggle cocaine worth US$290 000 to Greece and the Maldives through DHL courier and delivery services crumbled spectacularly last week when alert detectives intercepted the parcels during a routine check.

Matilda Mafofo (37) of Highfield appeared in court yesterday before Harare magistrate Mr Sheunesu Matowa charged with unlawfully dealing in dangerous drugs.

She was remanded to May 26 on $2 000 bail coupled with stringent conditions, and ordered to report to the police three times a week and to surrender her passport.

Mafofo, who was represented by her lawyer Mr Musindo Hungwe, is challenging the courts for over detention by the police.

In the middle of the court challenge on over detention, Mafofo indicated there would be need to lead extra evidence to establish the fact of the over detention and as such she chose to be placed on remand provisionally to enable her to mount a bail application and pursue her challenge on over detention thereafter.

The application will continue on the next court date.

Prosecuting, Mr Owen Safuri alleged that Mafofo stashed 744 grammes of cocaine into parcels, which she intended to send to Greece and the Maldives on Airway bill 4804591072 and 6649121172, respectively, and presented them at DHL offices in Graniteside on May 12.

Alert detectives who had received a tip-off, opened the parcels during their routine checks and found a suspicious substance, which they took for forensic analysis and it tested positive for cocaine.

It is alleged Mafofo confirmed that she was the owner of the two parcels. Some of the cocaine was stashed in beads, which were then used to make a handcraft shopping bag while some was used as starch to stiffen a piece of fabric.

Forming part of the consignment were some curtains and upon inspection, detectives discovered that cocaine had been sewn in the hem.

A field test was conducted on the seized substance and it was proved that it was cocaine with a street value of US$290 000.

In a separate matter, police stumbled upon drugs during a late night raid at the house of a couple that had gained fame for pushing drugs in Eastlea, Harare.

When police arrived at the house at around 11pm, they allegedly found Norah Makwavarara (38) and her husband Togarasei Magurei (38) smoking mbanje in their bedroom.

A search in the couple's bedroom showed they had a black plastic bag with loose dagga, sachets of crystal meth, 50 cigarette lighters and two scales, the court heard.

The substances were taken to the Forensic Science Laboratory for scientific analysis and the couple is now being charged for possessing dangerous drugs for the purpose of dealing in it.

The couple was also charged for illegally dealing in medicines after bottles of Broncleer cough syrup were also found in their bedroom.

They appeared before the same court and were freed on $600 bail each and ordered to reside at their given address and to report once a week to the police until the case is finalised.

They will be back in court on June 12.

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