Alleged drug smugglers appear in court

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Komatipoort - The two Mozambican men arrested for trying to smuggle drugs worth R52 million through the Lebombo border gate have appeared in the Komatipoort Periodical Court.

During their appearance on Tuesday, they were not asked to plead and the case was adjourned for next week Tuesday.

The lawyer representing them indicated that he wanted more time to prepare for a formal bail application.

Last week, the 52-year old Jaime Chauke and Manuel Manuse, 35, were arrested at the border on their way to Mozambique after police discovered a false built-in compartment at the back of the truck they were driving in.

The suspects had allegedly hidden seven bags, each containing an average of 52kg of heroin in the compartment.

The suspects claimed that they were unaware that the truck was carrying drugs, however, it was discovered that Mr Chauke had been traveling to South Africa frequently using different routes from January 2009.

Further, the truck had an expired South African registration but was mounted with a Mozambican permit.