Kamuzu International Airport (KIA) Police on Friday intercepted and arrested a South African national for allegedly possessing cocaine weighing 4.2kg concealed at the base of his traveling bag.

KIA Police Spokesperson, Sgt. Sapulain Chitonde, told Mana on Friday that the suspect, Siyabonga Kom, 28, had travelled from Sao Paulo International Airport in Brazil to Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, and he had connected to KIA, Malawi on Ethiopian Airways.

Chitonde said Kom was arrested around 12:30hrs, local time, at the airport’s Arrivals Halls when the security officers suspected something fishy.

“He was searched physically including all his belongings and the cocaine was found concealed in a carbon paper and hidden at the base of his travelling bag,” explained Chitonde.

Kom is currently in police custody and he is expected to appear before court soon to answer charges of Illegal Importation of Dangerous Drug, which is contrary to Section 11 (A) of the Penal Code, read together with Regulation 19 of the Dangerous Drugs Act, according to Chitonde.

The KIA Police have since warned the general public to desist from the temptation of smuggling drugs and illegal stuff through the airport saying the culprits would always be caught.

“We have professional officers who are highly trained to detect any illegal substances trying to get through the airport,” warned Chitonde, adding, “So no matter how crooked one might be, they’ll always be caught.”

According to information sourced from the National Institute on Drug Abuse website, cocaine is a powerfully addictive stimulant drug made from the leaves of the coca plant native to South America.

It is administered into the body through injection or inhaling (snorting or smoking) and it produces short-term euphoria, energy, and talkativeness in addition to potentially dangerous physical effects like raising heart rate and blood pressure.

Mental effects may include loss of contact with reality and most seriously, people who use cocaine can suffer heart attacks or strokes, which may cause sudden death.

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ZIMENE MUMAKONDA

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