A woman died in police custody on the way to Muhimbili National Hospital on Wednesday as the police were rushing her for treatment having shown signs of lowered blood pressure and nose bleeding, on account of drug pellets in her body.
Assistant Commissioner of Police Deusdedit Kato said in a statement yesterday that medical officers discovered 64 pellets inside the body of Margareth Juma (45), who was seeking to board a Qatar Airways flight to Osaka, Japan, accompanied by Allen Habib (28), who has confessed to having drug pellets in his body as the questioning by airport police officers started.
In the saga at the Julius Nyerere International Airport police officers refused a bribe of US$3,000 that the traffickers attempted to offer them after questioning, and as the interrogation was shifted from the airport to a police station nearby, body changes started appearing on the body of Margareth Juma, the statement noted.
The two traffickers arrived at Terminal II at the airport ready to depart to Osaka, and during the process of boarding, airport police officers detected something strange on the victims. They noticed inconsistencies in their statements and physical signs of deception and took them for formal questioning.
“The two traffickers tried to silence the police officer with a bribe of with US$3000, which the police officer didn’t accept and instead took Allen and Margareth to a nearby police station for interrogation,” the statement explained.
Allen confessed the charges of smuggling 75 pellets in his stomach but Margareth did not. After some interrogation police officers observed changes in Margareth’s health condition -- including low blood pressure, headache and nose bleeding -- the officers put her in a car and rushed her to Muhimbili Hospital, but she died before she got there.
At the medical centre, officials pulled out 64 pellets from Margareth’s stomach,” he said.
Allen was also taken to Muhimbili for a medical check-up after showing similar symptoms – after which he passed out 69 pellets wrapped in plastic wraps.
Allen is still in police custody.
Police headquarters has since awarded Tsh5million to police officers who declined an equivalent bribe.