Suspected drug dealers in court

Two Harare men appeared in court yesterday following their arrest while allegedly attempting to smuggle 3kg of ephedrine drug into the country from India.

BY DESMOND CHINGARANDE

Paulos Lemani (45) and Tinovimba Emmanuel Maisiri (age not given) were not asked to plead when they appeared before magistrate Josephine Sande, who remanded them to April 3 on $100 bail each.

The two are being charged with contravening the Medicines and Allied Substances Control Act by importing ephedrine without a permit.

Ephedrine is used for temporary relief of shortness of breath, chest tightness, and wheezing due to bronchial asthma, but is also used for weight loss and as an ingredient in cocaine making.

It is the State’s case that on March 14, Lemani went to Harare Central Sorting Office to collect his parcel from India, which had four brown plastic sachets glued to a small piece of cardboard and each wrapped with Indian fabric sheets.

The State alleges Lemani declared the parcel at the Zimbabwe Revenue Authority, but was intercepted by State security agents who became suspicious of the parcel, leading to his arrest.

Lemani was then taken to CID Drugs office, where preliminary tests on the whitish granules were done in his presence and tested positive for ephedrine.
The ephedrine weighed 1kg with a street value of $3 000.

Maisiri was also arrested on the same date after receiving a similar parcel from India.

The State alleges that the parcel had 1,8kg of ephedrine with a street value of $5 400.

Linda Gadzikwa appeared for the State.

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