Senior Court Reporter
The South African woman arrested last week at Robert Mugabe International Airport while allegedly smuggling into Zimbabwe US$7 770 000 worth of cocaine from Brazil, yesterday denied dealing in dangerous drugs when she appeared in court.
Shila Khumalo (50) of Johannesburg denied dealing in cocaine when she appeared before Chief Magistrate Mr Munamato Mutevedzi.
The charges had been upgraded from possession of dangerous drugs to dealing in the drugs since the amount allegedly seized could only be used for sale.
Khumalo was arrested last week at Robert Gabriel Mugabe International Airport after sachets of contraband cocaine were found in plastic balls stashed in her undergarments.
Upon her arrest she allegedly swallowed 53 plastic balls of the drug before she excreted some of them.
The State applied for custodial remand to allow her to excrete the remaining balls.
She denied the charges when asked to plead by Mr Mutevedzi.
Appearing for the State, Mrs Tinashe Makiya alleges that on May 9 detectives received information to the effect that Khumalo was travelling from Brazil aboard an Ethiopian Airlines flight and was expected to land at the airport the following day.
The court heard that on May 10 detectives from CID Drugs and Narcotics teamed up with members of the CIO and Zimra at the airport and intercepted Khumalo while she was passing through the immigration counter at around 1.30pm.
She was searched and she was found with the whitish substance suspected to be cocaine in her undergarments.
The State said the tests made on the substance were positive to cocaine.
Khumalo is expected to be back in court on May 26 for trial.