7 South African women arrested with heroin

7 South African women arrested with heroin


The Narcotics Control Bureau of Nepal Police has arrested seven South African women with 51 kilograms of heroin from different hotel rooms in Thamel. The street value of the seized heroin is estimated to be Rs 1.2 billion.

The arrested are Muriel Qedukwazi Thembeni Nsamba, 46, Sibisi Thandekile, 29, Tshabalala Khanyisile Yvonne, 39, Rosinah Nonqele Jantje,36, Mahlako Maureen Mathiba, 29, Moresi Suzan Kofu, 37 and Marlese Bandenhorst, 30, all of them from South Africa.

Of the arrested only Sibisi and Muriel operated and travelled together while the other five operated alone. Police recovered 16 kilograms of heroin from Sibisi and Muriel, eight kilograms from Tshabalala and Rosinah, and seven kilograms from Mahlako. Moroesi was arrested with four kilograms of white heroin and two kilograms brown heroin and Marlese was arrested with six kilograms white heroin.

Preliminary investigation shows the women may not know each other, although they may have been mobilised by the same drug trafficker.

All of them had placed the contraband inside the false bottom of their suitcase. They had arrived in Kathmandu on various dates.

Police had first arrested Sibisi and Muriel on May 17 from a hotel room in Thamel. They had arrived in Kathmandu a day earlier.

Police arrested five more women in a month-long secret investigation called ‘Operation White Dust’.

Muriel had been in the suspect list due to her activities. She had visited in February, March and June last year. A few months later, in September, police had arrested a few South Africans in possession of white heroin.

NCB’s Spokesperson SP Jeevan Kumar Shrestha said that women were being increasingly used in drug trafficking.

Kathmandu District Court remanded all of them to seven days judicial custody. Police will seek maximum punishment for them.

As per existing laws, anyone found in possession of over 100 grams of heroin could face sentence imprisonment of 15 years to life imprisonment. The lowest amount of heroin seized from the accused is six kilograms.

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