‘Dreadlock drug mule’ gets 15 years

June 18, 2012
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Convicted South African drug mule Nolubabalo Nobanda has been sentenced to 15 years in a Thailand prison and fined R250 000, a report has said.

According to Eyewitness News, the sentencing was confirmed by the office of the South African ambassador in Thailand.

Nobanda of Grahamstown was arrested at Bangkok International Airport in December for allegedly attempting to smuggle 1.5kg of cocaine from Brazil to Thailand.

Officials spotted white residue on her hair when she arrived on a Qatar Airways flight.

Her mother, Honjiswa Mbewu, said on Sunday night she she could not attend the judgment because “I suffer from acute stress”.

Mbewu’s safety was another reason for cancelling the trip. “The syndicate which led Nobanda to Brazil has not yet been arrested by the South African authorities.”

She has also received threatening comments on Facebook.

Mbewu was set to be represented by a Bangkok state lawyer. The SA embassy in Thailand had said SA diplomats would also be present in court.

Nobanda will begin her prison sentence immediately.

A year or two may be added to her 15-year jail term if she fails to pay the R250 000 fine, the ambassador’s office told EWN.

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