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SA on Mauritius "Drugs-Watch" list

on 27 March 2009.

Mauritius puts 5 African countries on drugs watch list. Download PDF Report

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SA emerges as new drug hub

Written by Daily News on 20 March 2009.

Around 30 South Africans are arrested every month in Brazil on drug smuggling charges - a huge increase in the past two years as South Africa emerges as a new hub in the global drug smuggling business.

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Crackdown on drug cartel

on 16 March 2009.

Crackdown on drug cartel between SA and Brazil leaves unanswered questions. Download PDF Report

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ANOTHER SAA Crew Arrested for drug smuggling

Written by Sam Greenhill - Mail Online on 17 February 2009.

An aircrew arrested after £250,000 of cocaine was discovered in baggage on a plane have been released on bail.

The 15 South African Airways employees were arrested after UK Border Agency officers found 5kg of the class A drug when their flight from Johannesburg arrived at Heathrow yesterday.

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More arrests expected shortly in SAA crew drug ring

Written by Eleanor Momberg on 25 January 2009.

Police in South Africa and London are expecting more arrests soon of members of a drug smuggling syndicate allegedly operating between South Africa and the United Kingdom.

Investigators said yesterday their probe into the involvement of South African Airways cabin crew in the syndicate was progressing well. SAA was this week rocked by the detention of 15 crew members, including the captain, on their arrival at Heathrow airport after the discovery of three crew bags packed with 50kg of dagga and 4kg of cocaine.

All the crew were released on bail and warned to appear in court in London in March after their DNA and fingerprints were taken to determine who the three bags bearing "cabin crew" tags belonged to.

On their arrival at OR Tambo International on Thursday morning flight attendant Mmatshu Mothlaga, 35, was arrested based on information supplied to investigators by security officer Pulane Hlahane, 43. Hlahane, employed by Reshebile Aviation and Protection Services, which was hired by SAA to check the baggage of its air crew, was arrested after she confessed during questioning to her role in smuggling the drugs.

Mothlaga and Hlahane appeared in the Kempton Park Magistrate's Court on Friday on charges of fraud and corruption. They were ordered to be held in custody until their next court appearance this week. Superintendent Tumi Golding, the police crime intelligence spokesperson, said the investigation into the drug syndicate was a joint operation with British authorities.

The remaining crew members released by the British police remained under investigation. "We are monitoring the movements of all the crew that came back on Thursday, including the pilots," she said.

According to Golding, Hlahane had admitted to working with Mothlaga, who is married to a Nigerian, by supplying her with additional cabin crew security tags apparently so that she could take additional luggage through customs. "They worked together to get the consignments through the airport. The fraud and corruption charges relate to the luggage tags, but the prosecutors are studying the docket to decide whether they will also be charged with the violation of the Customs Act and with drug trafficking," she said.

All SAA international flight crew go through a security check point, manned by Reshebile officers, at Airways Park. Flight crew from other airlines are checked by security at OR Tambo.

Because no one had claimed the three bags containing the drug consignment, the British authorities were conducting forensic tests to determine who had handled the bags, and where the consignment had originated. "The tags on the luggage only said "cabin crew". Under normal circumstances the passport code would match the luggage code. In this case it did not and is therefore not linked to anyone."

Golding said the intelligence-driven investigation would also determine who the middlemen were at Heathrow, and where the drugs were destined.

"There can't only be two people involved. There is a supply chain - from the supplier to the middlemen to the dealer."

Also being probed were allegations that Mothlaga had tried to bribe Hlahane in an effort to stop the guard testifying against her.

SAA said yesterday the 14 crew members would return to work "in due course".

In the meantime, Mothlaga has been suspended pending a "serious disciplinary", said Robyn Chalmers, the spokesperson for SAA. Hlahane was facing disciplinary action from Reshebile.

http://www.sundayindependent.co.za/index.php?fArticleId=4809307


January 21, 2009

NOTE FROM WEBSITE AUTHORS:

It appears that all but one of the SAA Crew are in fact innocent, thanks to the speedy manner in which SAA and the UK authorities handled this situation... and this is how it SHOULD be!

We are in contact with many South African Citizens who have been detained in foreign countries on similar charges. Several are innocent, however the SA Foreign Office and SA Embassy have blatantly refused to engage and assist with other cases.


In cases where Fair Trials of London have found discrepencies in Court Transcripts, where legal representation has been denied, where inhumanity and injustice has been forced upon South African citizens the Foreign Office has REFUSED TO INTERVENE!!!   
So why now??

The SAA Crew were released on bail and sent back to South Africa to be investigated and tried under South African Law!

This is in DIRECT CONTRADICTION OF THE SUPPOSED POLICIES OF THE SA FOREIGN OFFICE!     

We do sympathise with the volitile situation that airline employees might face regarding illicit trafficking by other crew members HOWEVER, we would like to know WHY the SAA Crew received preferential treatment in this matter. There has been NO intervention from the South African authorities for any one of the other 865 South Africans detained abroad.

This must change!   (newspaper articles below)

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UK releases SAA crew without charge

Written by Mail&Gaurdian Online on 21 January 2009.

Three SAA pilots and 12 cabin crew detained by the British authorities for alleged drug possession were released without being charged, the national carrier said on Wednesday.

South African Airways (SAA) spokesperson Robyn Chalmers said the 15 employees were released on Wednesday morning and the airline was arranging to get them back to South Africa.

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Have you been offered a job in Thailand?

Written by HAZEL FRIEDMAN on 17 March 2009.

Desperate and unsuspecting South Africans are being lured into drug syndicates and are paying a heavy price in Thailand’s prisons

''Thank you for coming," said Nandipha (not her real name), struggling to make herself heard above the babble. "I don't get to see anyone except for a kind lady from the church. And I can't speak Thai, so I can hardly talk to anyone."

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Spy Minister’s Wife and the Drug Bust

on 15 March 2009.

Exclusive: Intelligence boss’s spouse linked to international cocaine ring. The wife of South Africa’s newly appointed intelligence boss is under investigation for international drug trafficking.

Sheryl Cwele, married to minister of intelligence Siyabonga Cwele, has been directly linked to a KwaZulu-Natal mother arrested in Brazil with an estimated R3-million worth of raw cocaine while en route back to SA last year.

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South African woman hospitalised after prison beating

Written by www.iol.co.za on 15 February 2009.

The South African government has requested a full report on an incident in a Mauritian jail where a South African woman was apparently stripped naked and badly beaten by a notorious security squad.

She was admitted to hospital two days after the incident, after her aunt begged embassy staff to check up on her.

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SAA crew probed after drug bust

Written by Independant Online - IOL on 21 January 2009.

This article was originally published on page 1 of The Daily News on January 21, 2009. Published on the Web by IOL on 2009-01-21 10:44:00

© Independent Online 2005. All rights reserved. IOL publishes this article in good faith but is not liable for any loss or damage caused by reliance on the information it contains.

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Mom of drug mule pleads for grandchild

on 06 January 2007.

After a lifetime of heartache with her delinquent and criminal daughter, a Durban mother is now trying to rescue her two-month-old grandson from the hell of a Brazilian jail.

Belinda Lange said on Friday night she was desperate to get to Sao Paulo so she could begin negotiations to bring Tyron Joe back home, where he would then meet his 17-month-old brother, Roland, for the first time.