SA woman sentenced to 12 years in jail in Zim for smuggling cocaine

A Harare magistrate set aside two years of the sentence on condition of good behaviour.

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HARARE - A South African woman was on Tuesday sentenced to 12 years in jail in Zimbabwe after a court found that she had tried to smuggle cocaine into the country from Brazil.

A Harare magistrate set aside two years of the sentence on condition of good behaviour.

Harare chief magistrate Munamato Mutevedzi handed down the sentence on Tuesday morning, four months after the arrest of Sheila Khumalo.

The 50-year-old Johannesburg woman was arrested at the Robert Mugabe International Airport.

Immigration officials stopped her as she tried to exit through the green route. They found just under a kilogramme of cocaine hidden inside in her baggage.

Her lawyer had denied that Khumalo was a dealer, saying that she intended to use the drugs herself.

Interpol said that drug syndicates used Zimbabwe as a transit country to smuggle cocaine and cannabis to the rest of the world.

But it noted that a local market for the drugs was growing.

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