Duo busted for smuggling drugs

HARARE - Two Harare men were busted attempting to smuggle three kilogrammes of ephedrine drugs that had been delivered through freight from India.

Ephedrine is used for temporary relief of shortness of breath, chest tightness, and wheezing due to bronchial asthma but is also used as a weight loss drug.

It is also said to be an ingredient in cocaine and khat.

Paulos Lemani and Tinovimba Emmanuel Maisiri appeared before Harare magistrate Tilda Mazhande charged with contravening the Medicines and Allied Substances Control Act by importing ephedrine without an import permit from the authority.

They were released on $100 bail.

Prosecutor Linda Gadzikwa alleged that on March 14, Lemani went to Harare Central Sorting Office to collect his parcel that was coming from India.

The court heard that the parcel had four brown plastic sachets glued to a small piece of cardboard each wrapped with Indian fabric sheets.

It was alleged that Lemani declared the parcel at Zimbabwe Revenue Authority but was stopped by authorities that became suspicious.

He was immediately arrested while exiting the sorting office and the suspected ephedrine recovered.

Lemani was taken to CID Drugs office where preliminary tests on the whitish granules were done in his presence and tested positive to ephedrine.

The ephedrine weighed one kilogramme with a street value of $3 000.

On that same date, Maisiri also received a parcel from India.

When he went to collect the parcel it was alleged that he was made to open it following suspicions and it was discovered that he had 1,8 kilogrammes of ephedrine which was weighed and tested in his presence.

The street value for the drugs is $5 400 and Maisiri was immediately arrested.

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