kzn police officer killed

Photo: Pixabay

American drug trafficker sentenced to 18 in Mozambique

Authorities say that trafficking in Mozambique is on the rise

kzn police officer killed

Photo: Pixabay

A Mozambican court has sentenced a 66-year-old American , Rodney Willord Baldus, to 18 years in jail for drug trafficking, the Daily Nation newspaper reported. 

Baldus, born in Minnesota, was arrested in June last year at Aeroporto Internacional de Maputo. He was reportedly trying to travel to Johannesburg with 4.6 kilogrammes of heroin.

According to the newspaper, Judge Ruía Dauane of the Maputo Judicial Court said the judgment was fair as the evidence produced was sufficient. 

Defence lawyer Hilário Sabonete however said his client would appeal the sentence. 

Rise in Mozambique drug traffic

Last year, the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) warned that Mozambique has become a high-volume corridor for illegal substances, particularly heroin, and called for greater international cooperation to prevent the scourge. 

“Following the improvement of maritime law enforcement capabilities by neighbouring Tanzania and Kenya, recent busts suggest that a large volume of illicit products is now being trafficked through Mozambique,” UNODC representative in Mozambique César Guedes said at the time.

The Mozambican coast, he added, has become an important gateway for heroin coming from Afghanistan to other parts of the world.

“Heroin smuggling across the country is a major challenge and has the potential to boost the local market,” said Guedes.

The UNODC representative praised the partnership between Mozambique, Tanzania and South Africa, to combat drug trafficking.

African News Agency (ANA), Editing by Emsie Ferreira