South African convicted for trying to export contraband

A South African national, arrested at the Indira Gandhi International Airport here last year while trying to export over 17 kg of contraband substance, has been convicted by a Delhi court.

PTI| Updated: Oct 05, 2014, 10:19 AM IST

New Delhi: A South African national, arrested at the Indira Gandhi International Airport here last year while trying to export over 17 kg of contraband substance, has been convicted by a Delhi court.

Michael Shibambo was held guilty under provisions of the Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substances (NDPS) Act after 17.5 kg of the contraband substance was found concealed in his trolley bag.

"This court is of the considered opinion that prosecution has been able to prove beyond reasonable doubt that accused (Shibambo) had made an attempt to export outside India, pseudoephedrine hydrochloride, a controlled substance, in contravention of the orders issued by the Central government u/s 9A of the NDPS Act," special judge Anu Grover Baliga said.

While convicting Shibambo, the court refused to agree to his contentions that he had no knowledge as how the contraband was concealed in his bag.

"Present is a case where about 17.5 kg of a substance has been found concealed in the trolley bag of the accused. It is inconceivable that the accused would not have felt the weight of trolley bag that he was carrying and that he had no clue that the said bag could not contain anything more than his clothes," the court said.

The court observed that without the knowledge of accused, the contraband substance could not have been concealed in his bag in such a fine manner.

"Such a concealment and packaging could not have taken place, as contended by accused without his knowledge when all along he was present with his friend at the time of packing of his luggage," it said.

According to the prosecution, on October 10, 2013, Narcotics Control Bureau (NCB) officials had a tip off that a south African national was to board an Ethiopian Airlines flight from IGI Airport with some contraband substance.

It said the officials apprehended Shibambo from check-in counter of the airport and his luggage was frisked during which the contraband, concealed at the bottom and upper lid cover of his bag, was recovered.

During the trial, Shibambo accepted in the court that the contraband substance was recovered from his bag but claimed that someone else had concealed it.