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Army border guards catch Tanzanian dagga ‘smuggler’

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By Starsky Mkhonta -- SWAZILAND OBSERVER-29-Sep-2009

A TANZANIAN national was in the wee hours of yesterday arrested while trying to smuggle dagga weighing close to 50 kg at Gege.

The dagga was contained in three plastic bags and it was found to be of high grade and estimated to be worth E150 000 in street value.

Boniface Peter (28) was about to cross the fence to the South African side near Gege when he was stopped on his tracks by the army personnel on patrol. Peter was in the company of a fellow countryman when he got arrested. His colleague managed to escape without any trace when they were spotted by the members of the army carrying the bags. Peter also tried to flee but because of the heavy load, he only managed to make few sprints before he was warned not to attempt running as this would place him in danger. He obeyed the order but on apprehension, he was first given a few slaps before being handed over to the police at Gege.

It was also explained that the Tanzanians had hired a taxi from Mbabane to transport them to Gege where they intended to cross with the illegal substance. A source said the vehicle had dropped the two and without any waste of time and drove back to Mbabane. The dagga had been fetched from Maphalaleni, another area in the Hhohho region regarded as having many dagga dealers as the plant is grown in a large scale.

The Tanzanian suspect was expected to appear for his first remand hearing at the Nhlangano Magistrate Court yesterday.

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