The Elderly Drug Kingpin: 71-Year-Old Swede Caught with $3.4 Million Heroin, Sentenced to 15 Years Behind Bars In Zimbabwe
A 71-year-old Swede national who was caught with 3kgs of heroin upon his arrival in April has been sentenced to 15 years in prison in Zimbabwe. Hans Arne Ingemar Peterson, had been in custody since his arrest because the state struggled to secure a Swedish interpreter, which was finally done last week. Peterson was convicted after a full trial before Harare regional magistrate Feresi Chakanyuka.
Started at the Deep End of Crime
Magistrate Chakanyuka considered Peterson’s age, the fact that he was a first-time offender, and had spent three months in prison. However, she was disturbed by the fact that he had started at the deep end of crime. She also emphasized that the offense is very serious and has become topical due to the socioeconomic effects of drug abuse. She added that heroin is a mood-altering drug that has serious effects, especially on young people, which could destroy the country’s future.
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The State, represented by Oscar Madhume, proved that on April 8. CID drugs detectives received information that Peterson was in possession of drugs that he intended to smuggle to Myanmar. Peterson had been rejected by Qatar Airways because he didn’t have a visa to travel to Myanmar. When the police found him in the departure lounge, they discovered two suitcases loaded on a trolley. Upon searching the bags, they found the drugs with an estimated street value of $3,400,000, reported hmetro.
Peterson said he went to Zimbabwe via South Africa and was scammed by Rashid, introduced by a female friend from Thailand. He claimed they took advantage of him and created a false sense of trust. He believed he was traveling to South Africa to sign bank documents to help a sick man in the US. However, the court rejected his defense.
Sentenced to Jail
Peterson’s sentence should serve as a warning to others that drug trafficking is a serious offense that carries hefty consequences. Zimbabwe has a zero-tolerance policy towards drug trafficking, and anyone found guilty will face the full wrath of the law.