A foreign national will spend five years in jail for allegedly smuggling cocaine worth over R2.2 million from Botswana to South Africa.
Disomo John Laurent, 43, was convicted by the Lehurutse Regional Court on September 22, 2023, for smuggling cocaine into South Africa worth over R2.2 million through the Swartkopfontein Port of Entry.
On August 28, 2022, a multi-disciplinary team consisting of members of the Hawks’ Serious Organised Crime Investigation and officials of the Swartkopfontein Port of Entry were conducting cross-border operations when a taxi that was travelling from Botswana to South Africa was searched.
Hawk spokesperson, Captain Tlangelani Rikhotso, said that during the search, the accused was found in possession of three bags of cocaine, which were hidden in false compartments within his two backpacks.
“The accused was arrested and charged with contravention of the Drugs and Drug Trafficking Act 140 of 1992.
“He was remanded in custody and made a series of court appearances until he was sentenced to five years of imprisonment or a R30,000 fine,” Rikhotso said.
Rikhotso further added that Laurent was sentenced to 10 years of imprisonment, which was wholly suspended for five years. He will therefore serve an effective five-year prison term.
The Provincial Head for the Directorate for Priority Crime Investigation, Major General Patrick Mbotho, and the Director for Public Prosecutions in the North West, Dr. Rachel Makhari, welcomed the conviction and lauded the sterling work by the investigating officer and the prosecutor.