N$5 million heroin mule gets convicted

Home Crime and Courts N$5 million heroin mule gets convicted

Former Air Namibia flight crew member, who was allegedly attempting to smuggle N$5 million worth of heroin from Namibia to Germany in 2016, was convicted yesterday in the Windhoek Regional Court.
Magistrate Alexis Diegaardt convicted Percival Mensah (38) on an alternative count of drug possession and a count of possessing or using the proceeds of unlawful activities in the form of 10.27 kg of heroin valued at N$5 million. 

However, the court acquitted him on the main count of drug dealing.
Mensah got arrested after the police detected a suspicious substance that was later confirmed to be heroin, hidden in the cabin attendant’s check-in luggage for an Air Namibia flight destined for Frankfurt on 17 December 2016.

Mensah had vanished from the airport after police officers started making enquiries about the ownership of the luggage in which the suspected drugs had been detected, and did not depart on the flight to Germany as scheduled.
Mensah later returned to claim his luggage. 
During the trial, Detective Sergeant Lukas Lukas from the Namibian police drug unit testified that the police together with Mensah went through the contents of his bag. Upon inspection, the police found an extra bag hidden underneath the pile. Lukas informed the court that they found ten parcels with substances inside the extra bag, which were, at the time, suspected to be heroin.

At the beginning of the trial, Mensah through his defence lawyer Wessels denied any wrongdoing. Wessels said they are not disputing that Mensah was at Hosea Kutako International Airport on the day because he was part of the cabin crew employed by Air Namibia, but they deny he had any dealing in heroin.
In Mensah’s defence, he allegedly received the alleged drugs found in the suitcase from an old friend by the name Chandre Hill (27), with which he was to travel from Namibia to Frankfurt. 
Hill was initially charged alongside Mensah, but the prosecution withdrew the charges against him in September 2018 due to lack of evidence.
Mensah is expected to be sentenced on Monday next week.