WINDHOEK – The trial of former Air Namibia cabin crew member Percival Mensah has experienced a setback once more, causing the trial to be postponed from May to June.
Mensah, 36, is on trial on a count of drug dealing and a count of acquisition, possession or use of proceeds of unlawful activities, which falls under the Prevention of Organised Crime Act (POCA).
The trial was expected to resume in the Windhoek Regional Court last week but due to the unavailability of the presiding officer, the matter was set down for June 24 as a final remand.
It is alleged that on December 17, 2016 police discovered drugs during a routine inspection before departure at Hosea Kutako International Airport (HKIA). 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.
The police on duty could not point out who the luggage containing the drugs belonged to, even though they had enquired.
Mensah was later arrested after he handed himself over to the police.
According to Mensah’s charge sheet, he was found in possession of 10 270kg of heroin with a street value of N$500 000.
Experts in Nampol’s drug unit put the value of 10 parcels of heroin at N$5 million.
At the start of his trial before Magistrate Alexis Diegardt in the regional court, Mensah denied guilt when he took a no guilty plea to the charge.
During the ongoing trial Mensah’s defence attorney Jan 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.
Mensah was arrested along with Clint Chundve Hill, 26, who has since been removed from the case due to lack of evidence.