Zambian women cleared of drug trafficking charges in India

The New Delhi court has acquited three Zambian women, who were arrested in India seven years ago on charges of drug-trafficking.

Sepiso Lubinda 51, Stella Mwanza  47, and Maureen Banda 37,  all of Lusaka, were arrested in June 2002 as they were about to board a flight to Lusaka from New Delhi.

The trio were acquitted after it was established that there was no evidence to convict them on drug-trafficking charges.

This is contained in a statement made available to ZANIS by First Secretary for press Zambian Commissioner to India Bwalya Nondo in Lusaka today.

Mr. Nondo explains in the statement that this was when Acting Zambian High Commissioner to India, Brig. Gen. Allan Kalebuka and other officials from the Zambian High commission in New Delhi visited the trio and donated some money for their up keep.

Brig Gen. Kalebuka confirmed that the incarcerated women were in good health and did not complain of any ill-treatment during their term.

He however reiterated his warning to Zambians especially women who travel to the Asian sub-continent for business, to guard against associating with people who may use them for ulterior motives.

The Acting Zambian High Commissioner to India said the trio are staying at a charitable home awaiting administrative clearance before flying back to Zambia.

Drug-trafficking in India carries a maximum of ten years imprisonment on conviction.

Meanwhile, Brig. Gen. Allan Kalebuka has called on all Zambians coming to India to make their presence known to the Zambian embassy.

He noted that this will ensure that the mission extends necessary Consular services to Zambian citizens who come especially for specialized treatment in India.

Brig. Gen. Allan Kalebuka said, it should be noted that, the mission’s obligation to extend consular duties, is not only to VIP patients, but to ordinary Zambians as well.

He said Zambians should not only approach the Mission when they are in distress.

Indian is increasingly becoming the world’s preferred medical tourism destination because of its competitive treatment costs in highly specialized hospitals.

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