A former policewoman who was found guilty of aiding a drugs syndicate to smuggle illegal substances through OR Tambo International Airport has been sentenced to 15 years in prison, the National Prosecuting Authority (NPA) has confirmed.
42-year-old Buyisile Nkosi was sentenced by Judge Ratha Mokgoathleng at the Johannesburg High Court on Thursday.
This follows Judge Mokgoathleng finding Nkosi as well as three co-accused guilty on multiple charges, relating to racketeering and dealing in drugs between 2007 and 2009 when she was a sergeant stationed at the airport. She was expelled from her position in 2010 following investigations in 2009.
Two of the co-accused, Pedro Odoemenam and his brother Obi Odoemenam, evaded trial and are believed to have fled the country. The other accused, Odoemenam’s wife, was acquitted in terms of section 174 of the Criminal Procedure Act.
“The drug cabal ran an enterprise of manufacturing drugs from a rented house in Sandton,” said an NPA statement.
“The drugs ranged from cocaine, heroin, dagga, tik, methcathinone (cat) to methamphetamine (ice), worth more than millions of rands. They sold them to the members of the public within and outside of the country.
“The accused had access to the stored exhibits impounded by the police at the airport which she would tamper with by substituting the cocaine with flour.
“On many occasions, she would assist the drug-lords to import the drugs from other countries without being detected by the police. She also sold drugs to other agents throughout South Africa.
“The State led evidence and substantially proven that drugs were imported into the country from different countries. Advocate Riana Williams argued in aggravation that the accused was a member of the enterprise and directly participated in smuggling and peddling the drugs within and outside the country.
“The presiding officer handed down the sentenced by adjudicating that though the accused is a first time offender, it does not serve as a deterrence for the court to deviate from the prescribed minimum sentence,” the statement concludes.
(Edited by Daniel Friedman.)