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Venezuelan convicted for smuggling cocaine

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The Blantyre Magistrate Court last week slapped a Venezuelan national Luz Marina Roselly Benitez with three years imprisonment with hard labour for being found with 14 flasks containing cocaine at Chileka International Airport.

The Immigration Department intercepted the cocaine after Benitez’s suspicious behaviour upon arrival at the airport last Monday. She was detained and after being searched, she was found with cocaine and was referred to police.

Later she was taken to court for prosecution and the magistrate gave her three years imprisonment with hard labour. Immigration Public Relations Officer at Chileka Airport, Chilungamo Kapulula, said the magistrate did not give her the option of a fine.

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“The judgement means that she has to serve three years in prison. The magistrate gave her no option. The deportation order was not given,” said Kapulula.

Kapulula asked government to provide Chileka Airport with up to date border control equipment to help security officers do their job effectively.

Kapulula said the Immigration, police and other stakeholders at the airport would continue being alert to stop any entry of restricted drugs into the country.

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When Benitez was arrested last week, she could not speak English and it was discovered that her passport showed that she would visit Mozambique and then leave for South Africa.

The passport details show that she was born on August 17, 1981 and that her passport 18559282 was issued on September 14, 2015 expiring on September 13, 2020.

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