WINDHOEK – The trial of a former cabin crew member of Air Namibia, accused of trying to smuggle N$5 million worth of heroin, is nearing its end, with court submissions before judgement scheduled for today in the Windhoek Regional Court.
Percival Mensah, 37, stands accused of dealing in or possessing 10,27 kilogrammes of heroin valued at about N$5 million, and a charge of acquiring, possessing or using the proceeds of unlawful activities, in the form of 10,27kg of heroin.
The prosecution is alleging that on December 17, 2016 the police discovered drugs during a routine inspection before departure at Hosea Kutako International Airport. 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. According to Detective Sergeant Lukas Lukas from the Namibian police drug unit, on December 16, 2016 the police together with Mensah went through the contents of his bag. “Upon inspection, we found male clothes and underneath the pile of clothes was an extra bag,” explained Lukas.
Lukas informed the court that inside the extra bag they found ten parcels with substances suspected to be heroin.
Mensah allegedly vanished from the airport after police officers started to make 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.
During the trial, Mensah through his defence lawyer Jan Wessels denied any wrongdoing. Wessels said that 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. Mensah allegedly received the alleged drugs found in the suitcase with which he was to travel from Namibia to Frankfurt from an old friend by the name Chandre Hill.
Further stating that he had no idea that the bag had drugs in it.
Hill, 26, was initially charged alongside Mensah, but the prosecution withdrew the charges against him in September last year due to lack of evidence.
Currently out on bail of N$10 000, Mensah is scheduled to appear before Magistrate Alexis Diergaardt today.