A WOMAN from Emganwini suburb in Bulawayo has been arrested for possessing about 3kg of cocaine with an estimated street value of $470 000.
Sheron Tholiwe Tshuma (25) was arrested in a sting operation at the Zimbabwe Revenue Authority offices in the city centre on Wednesday following a tip-off.
Tshuma, who works for an insurance company in the city, received 3,14 kg of cocaine through the post from India, via Harare.
Sources close to the case yesterday said Tshuma was supposed to send the highly addictive recreational drug to South Africa using omalayitsha.
“Police got a tip–off that a parcel containing the illegal hard drug was being sent to Tshuma from Harare,” said a source.
Detectives, said the source, went to Courier Connect Post offices and identified the parcel.
“The police liaised with Zimra and the contents of the parcel tested positive for high grade cocaine,” said the source.
“Police then monitored the parcel to see who would collect it in Bulawayo. Tshuma first showed up without enough money to pay for the delivery. A week
later on Wednesday, she returned with the money and collected the parcel,” the source said.
A source close to investigations said Tshuma burst into tears and claimed she had not been aware she was being used as a drug mule.
“She said she was supposed to collect the parcel and send it to South Africa on behalf of an unnamed colleague,” the source said.
Police, added the source, had a torrid time in deciding the value of the contraband.
“Cocaine, which is relatively rare in this country, can fetch anything between $75 and $150 per gramme depending on the grade and market. They came up with two values, $470 000.25 and $313 500,” said the source.
“Further investigations entail tracing the parcel back to the sender through Interpol and locating the alleged receiver in South Africa.”
The source said Tshuma is expected to appear in court today.
Bulawayo police spokesperson Assistant Inspector Abedinico Ncube could not be reached for comment yesterday.
Cocaine, also known as coke, is a potent stimulant used mainly as a recreational drug. It may be smoked, snorted or injected into the bloodstream.
It causes mental effects that makes the user lose touch with reality, gives them a false feeling of extreme euphoria or agitation.
An overdose may be fatal while prolonged use causes severe addiction.