A PERUVIAN drug trafficker was on Saturday sentenced to 10 years imprisonment by a Harare magistrate after he was found in possession of a kilogramme of cocaine worth $91 520 hidden in his suitcase handles at the Robert Gabriel Mugabe International Airport.
BY DESMOND CHINGARANDE
Wilmer Taruzona Aro (32), who initially pleaded not guilty before changing plea to guilty, was convicted by magistrate Rumbidzai Mugwagwa.
In passing sentence, the court ruled that cases of people dealing in drugs using Zimbabwe as the gateway were now prevalent and a deterrent custodial sentence was fair to deter would-be offenders.
The court heard that Aro was an international criminal who traffics drugs from one country to another as evidenced by his passport, which carried stamps from Brazil, a source country of hard drugs.
The court heard that detectives from the Drugs and Narcotics section stationed at the airport received information that Aro was coming from Brazil aboard a United Arab Emirates flight number EK 713.
As the flight landed at around 5pm, Aro went through verification with immigration officials before picking his two suitcases and heading for the exit point, where he was intercepted by detectives.
A search led to the discovery of cocaine in the holes of Aro’s suitcases’ handle rails. The cocaine weighed 1,144kg, with a street value of $91 520.
Francisca Mukumbiri appeared for the State.