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Over 800 South Africans in prisons abroad, says Dirco

Among them are four women recently arrested for drug smuggling in Miami in the US.

Picture: Supplied

CAPE TOWN - More than 800 South Africans are being held as prisoners abroad.

Among them are four women recently arrested for drug smuggling in Miami in the US.

The four South African women were arrested last month, accused of smuggling cocaine from Jamaica to Miami.

Dirco spokesperson Ndivhuwo Mabaya says the department is monitoring the case.

“They will undergo the US legal system and if they want a lawyer, at their own cost, we can give them options.”

Pat Gerber, of Locked-Up, an organisation that assists families of South African drug mules, says more emphasis should be placed on apprehending masterminds behind the drug syndicate.

“These are not the drug mules. These are decoys that are being arrested. You can go and have a look. The drug mules continue to fly in and out and are being protected. These are the people that are being recruited for the sole purpose to be arrested in a foreign country, so that the drug mules, carrying the larger loads can walk through.”

Government says more than a fifth of South Africans arrested in South America, face drug-related charges.

Dirco says it provides non-financial assistance to all South Africans arrested abroad.

(Edited by Shimoney Regter)

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