In a shift from the norm, women are increasingly being recruited into the lucrative illicit narcotics trade which has been predominately been a preserve of men. Last week, security apparatus arrested a woman in Kisauni and seized cocaine worth sh110 million.
Nuru Murshid Mahfudh, 29, had 36,764 grams of cocaine and will be prosecuted in Shanzu courts together with 11 other women who are also charged with trafficking.
Reports from the Anti-Narcotic Police officers and Transnational Organised Crime Unit have intimated that Mahfudh could be working with other women to distribute the substance either within or outside the country.
During her arrest, a passport bearing the name Farid Shaban Athman was recovered in the house, confirming the security apparatus’s suspicion of a wider web involving more women.
The investigators have taken the mobile phones (iPhones) confiscated during the arrest to the cybercrime unit for further investigations.
“We believe the mobile phones contain essential information that will help us identify the suspect’s network and accomplices,” said the investigator.
The police are also probing the geographical location of the accomplices.
“Investigations are still ongoing. The detectives are still pursuing various leads that could lead to the identification of potential witnesses and the discovery of more evidence,” said Anthony Musyoka, a prosecutor.
“Her release pending investigations endangers her life and could be a threat to prospective witnesses,” the court heard. Documents before the court indicate that nine packets of the drugs were found hidden in a television box while six were in a paper.
Digital weighing scales, among other items, will be used as evidence against her during the trial.
Last year 40-year-old Fatuma Sicobo Mohamed was sentenced to life imprisonment for trafficking 2,466.4 grams of heroin worth more than Sh7.3 million.
In another similar case, Asma Abdalla was charged alongside Swaleh Yussuf Ahmed and Suleiman Salim.
A Tanzanian national, Jumanne Maimuna Amir, was arrested and charged with trafficking 5.3kg of heroin worth Sh15 million last year.
Mwanasomo Mohammed, 51, is also facing similar charges. She allegedly trafficked two kilograms of heroin worth Sh6 million. She is facing the charge alongside Said Aboobakar, 53.
Zahra Ali Akharazi also faces similar offenses at the Shanzu Law Court. She is charged alongside New Zealander Selby Dean Freeman for trafficking cocaine worth Sh47, 000.
National Authority for the Campaign Against Alcohol and Drug Abuse (Nacada) director Farida Rashid blames the desire for a “soft life” on women engaging in drug trafficking.
“They want a soft life but are not ready to work hard for it. They end up being used to distribute the narcotics at a fee,” she said.
She added that most women arrested for drug trafficking do not own the narcotics but are merely used to facilitate the trade.