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Drug barons arraigned at Kisutu Court

TWO people, including a businesswoman, appeared before the Kisutu Resident Magistrate’s Court in Dar es Salaam yesterday charged with trafficking in a large quantity of Heroin Hydrochloride, which are narcotic drugs, weighing a total of 12.65 kilogrammes.

They are Maria Mtumbuka (29), a businesswoman from Dar es Salaam region and Hamis Awadhi (44), a businessman from Morogoro region.

They were not allowed to enter a plea to the charge against them when they were brought before two magistrates in different court chambers because the cases against them fall under the Economic and Organised Crime Control Act.

The magistrates told the accused persons that the court lacked jurisdiction to entertain anything, including the question of bail and that their case will be heard by the High Court’s Corruption and Economic Crime Division upon completion of investigations.

Since the offence under which the accused persons were facing is not bailable, the magistrates ordered them to remain in custody, pending the completion of the investigations and subsequent committal proceedings of the cases to the trial court. The cases were adjourned to April 27, 2021 for mention, as the investigations, according to the prosecutions led by State Attorney Faraji Nguka and Ester Martin, have not been completed.

Prosecuting, State Attorney Nguka alleged before Senior Resident Magistrate Yusto Ruboroga that on April 2, 2021 at Julius Nyerere International Airport (JNIA) in Temeke District, Dar es Salaam, Maria was found trafficking in 6.65kg of Heroin Hydrochloride.

State Attorney Ester Martin alleged before Principal Resident Magistrate Kassian Matembele that on the same day and same place, Awadhi was found trafficking in 6kg of Heroin Hydrochloride.

It was earlier reported by the media that the Police Force at the JNIA arrested two people with the narcotic drugs on April 2, 2021, while on transit to Bombay in India. Speaking to reporters in Dar es Salaam recently, Police Commander at JNIA Jeremiah Shila disclosed that the suspects, Maria Mtumbuka, a resident of Kivule and a man (whose name was withheld) were arrested at the luggage check point for passengers travelling abroad.

He stated that Maria was arrested with three packets of 6.65 kg of heroin that she had hidden in her travelling bag. Commander Shila said the two suspects arrived at JNIA from Harare, Zimbabwe and were expected to connect the flight to Bombay India with another Air Tanzania (ATCL) flight.

“The suspects were arrested due to the competence of police officers at the airport in collaboration with other security forces,” he said.

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