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Bolivian jailed 3 years for drug trafficking

PRISCILLA CHIPULU, Lusaka
A BOLIVIAN has been sentenced to three years in prison with hard labour for trafficking in narcotic drugs.
Lusaka magistrate Thandose Chabala yesterday sentenced Nelson Guzman Baldivieso, 52, an office assistant in Bolivia.
Guzman, with three Zambian women, trafficked and imported into the country over one kilogramme of cocaine, a banned and highly intoxicating substance.
On December 21, 2016, he hid the potent drug in the metal tubes of his three suitcases while travelling from Bolivia to Lusaka using an Ethiopian Airlines flight.
However, Drug Enforcement Commission officers intercepted him at Kenneth Kaunda International Airport.
Guzman pleaded with the court to exercise leniency on him as he is a poor man.
He told the court how life had been unbearable in Bolivia forcing him to engage in the dangerous business of trafficking in drugs to help his ailing son.
Guzman also told the court he is diabetic and needs to visit the hospital regularly.
But magistrate Chabala warned him that trafficking in narcotic drugs is prohibited in Zambia.
“The offences you committed are very serious and they are non-bailable. Therefore, you will serve a prison term of three years with hard labour which will run from the day you were arrested,” she said.
Ms Chabala advised Guzman to appeal to the High Court within 14 days  if he was not happy with the verdict and sentence.
Meanwhile, Ms Chabala has set February 7 this year for continuation of trial for the other three co-accused persons in the matter.

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