American gets 18 years jail for drug trafficking in Mozambique

Saturday February 22 2020

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American Rodney Willord Baldus, 66, has been sentenced to 18 years in jail in Mozambique for drug trafficking. PHOTO | FILE | NATION MEDIA GROUP 

ARNALDO VIEIRA
By ARNALDO VIEIRA
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A Mozambique court has sentenced an American to 18 years in jail for drug trafficking.

Police arrested 66-year-old Rodney Willord Baldus on June 26, 2019 at Aeroporto Internacional de Maputo.

He was found trying to travel to Johannesburg in South Africa with 4.6kgs of heroin.

Judge Ruía Dauane of the Maputo Judicial Court said the judgment was fair as evidence was sufficient.

But Hilário Sabonete, the accused's lawyer, said he would file an appeal.

“The sentence is extremely exaggerated happening during the evidence production phase," he said.

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DRUGS CORRIDOR

Mozambique is considered a free corridor for drug trafficking.

The county has had a label, internationally, as a significant human trafficking and drugs corridor, especially between South Africa and Asia.

It faces growing criminal justice, transnational crime and counternarcotic challenges.

Mozambique is located in an increasingly important part of Africa and has vast land and sea borders.

However, it has demonstrated limited willingness and capacity to manage these borders and has increasingly become a transit point for trafficking in narcotics, persons and contraband.

CORRUPTION

As Mozambican authorities seek to provide security and justice, widespread corruption undercuts service delivery and accountability and allows money laundering and other financial crimes to persist.

The US Department of State’s Bureau of International Narcotics and Law Enforcement Affairs (INL) works to keep Americans safe at home by countering international crime, illegal drugs, and instability abroad. INL helps countries deliver justice and fairness by strengthening their police, courts, and corrections systems. These efforts reduce the amount of crime and illegal drugs reaching US shores.

INL provides foreign assistance funds to Mozambique to address criminal justice, transnational crime, and counternarcotic challenges by building capacity to combat corruption and enforce the rule of law.

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