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SARS Officials, Flight Attendant And Nigerian National Arrested For Trafficking Drugs Into SA

Bilankulu, a flight attendant at Air Namibia, and Khoza and Dikgale, customs officials employed by the South African Revenue Service (Sars), were found guilty of their involvement in a drug trafficking operation.

The Alexandra Magistrate’s Court in Johannesburg has handed down a 10-year prison sentence to three men, Sydney Bilankulu, Courdel Khoza, and Thabo Dikgale, for charges of dealing in drugs, possession of drugs and defeating the ends of justice.

Bilankulu, a flight attendant at Air Namibia, and Khoza and Dikgale, customs officials employed by the South African Revenue Service (Sars), were found guilty of their involvement in a drug trafficking operation.

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The accused were charged alongside Oscar Osigwe, who was sentenced to eight years imprisonment in 2017. Osigwe, who entered into a plea and sentence agreement with the State, testified against his co-accused during the trial.

Osigwe, a Nigerian national, arrived at the OR Tambo International Airport in April 2016 from Sao Paulo, Brazil, with 1,295 grams of cocaine he had swallowed.

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He revealed that a Nigerian man in Brazil had given him the drugs and arranged for his travel to South Africa. Osigwe also stated that he was informed that there would be individuals at the airport waiting for him.

Upon his arrival, Osigwe was approached by customs officials Khoza and Dikgale, who instructed him to follow them. They took him to a hotel where his SIM card was replaced, and he was given instructions on where to drop off the drugs after excreting them.

Sergeant Nathan Govender from the South African Police Service (SAPS) received an anonymous tip-off about Osigwe and his drug-filled stomach. Govender and his team went to the hotel and questioned Osigwe. He admitted to having already excreted 71 balls of the drugs, with 18 still inside him.

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Shortly after, Osigwe received a call from Bilankulu, Dikgale, and Khoza, instructing him to proceed to the drop-off point. The police followed Osigwe, and when he handed over the bag of cocaine to Bilankulu, all four individuals were arrested.

During the court proceedings, Deputy Director of Public Prosecutions, advocate Jacob Serepo, argued that the accused had abused their authority as law enforcement officers. Serepo emphasized that their duty was to combat drug trafficking, not facilitate it.

The National Prosecuting Authority (NPA) commended advocate Jacob Serepo and Captain Polley, the investigating officer, for their work in ensuring the removal of these drug traffickers from society.

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Keitumetse Modise for SurgeZirc SA
Keitumetse Modise for SurgeZirc SA
Keitumetse Modise is a passionate and dedicated local news writer who brings the latest news and updates from your community straight to your doorstep. With years of experience in journalism, Keitumetse has established herself as a reliable source of information, covering a wide range of topics that matter to you.
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