Police welcome drug dealer's 10-year sentence

Tuesday, January 22, 2019

The South African Police Service (SAPS) has welcomed the 10-year sentence handed to 23-year-old Brazilian national, Jelani Hasan James, for dealing in drugs.

He was convicted and sentenced in the Kempton Park Magistrate Court on Friday.

In a statement issued on Tuesday, SAPS spokesperson Colonel Katlego Mogale said the sentence was a culmination of an extensive investigation which began on 29 March 2018 when the suspect was handed to SAPS by SARS members at the OR Tambo International Airport (ORTIA) as he disembarked from a Sao Paolo flight. 

“The suspect was then taken for x-rays, which revealed a foreign object in his stomach. Upon him releasing the object, it was confirmed that he had swallowed 55 bullets containing cocaine with an estimated street value R8 250 00 00. The suspect was arrested,” Mogale said.  

She said the 43 persons, who have been convicted for Section 49 related crimes upon appearing in court, were found guilty of the offences ranging from being found in possession of fraudulent travel documents, work permits and asylum papers, among others.

“These suspects paid admission of guilt fines between R2500 – R5000. Most of the suspects have since been deported to their land of origin and have been deemed unsuitable to visit this country. Five of the suspects were found guilty and sentenced to either pay a fine or 6 months imprisonment. Nine suspects were arrested on warrants. 

“The suspects were being sought for fraud, traffic infringements, defeating the ends of justice and malicious damage to property. One suspect was arrested after he failed to return a rented vehicle that was subsequently found on the N3 after it sent a power fail alert to the rental services,” Mogale said.

She said ORTIA continues to implement a multi-disciplinary intervention at the airport, which was established to fight crime at the airport.

“The members of the task team include Home Affairs, SARS, EMPD, ACSA and the Department of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries, among others. There has been a breakthrough made as a result of the ongoing integrated multi-disciplinary proactive fight against crime at OR Tambo International Airport, especially the proliferation of drugs coming into and through the airport. 

“Law enforcement agencies at ORTIA have no [tolerance] for drug dealers/peddlers. These substances and their precursors are ravaging our communities and such arrests bear testimony to the commitment of this team to rid this country of drugs and drug dealers,” Mogale said. – SAnews.gov.za