Convicted drug mule Nolubabalo “Babsie” Nobanda’s sentence for smuggling cocaine into Thailand in her dreadlocks has been reduced by two-and-a-half years.
TimesLive reports that her 15-year sentence was reduced in an amnesty granted to prisoners in Thailand by recently crowned Thai King Maha Vajiralongkorn.
“Nobanda will benefit from a general amnesty granted to tens of thousands of prisoners by recently crowned Thai King Maha Vajiralongkorn earlier this month,” Henk Vanstaen, a Thailand resident who assists South Africans incarcerated in the kingdom told the HeraldLive.
Nobanda was arrested at Bangkok’s Suvarnabhumi Airport on December 12, 2011 after getting off a Qatar Airways flight. Approximately 1.5kg of cocaine with an estimated street value of $150 000 (R1.2m) was found in her dreadlocks after police noticed a white substance in her hair, News24 earlier reported.
Nobanda told Thailand authorities that she was hired to deliver the drugs to a customer at a hotel in Bankgok
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Nobanda was travelling with a friend by the name of Sulezi Rwanqa at the time of her arrest.
In a letter to her parents, Nobanda explained that she was initially travelling to Brazil to work in a shoe shop. Once there, she was approached by a Brazilian man who informed her that Rwanqa was waiting for her at a hotel.
When she arrived to the hotel, she claimed she saw a number of women trained to smuggle drugs.
Nobanda wrote that she then traveled to Thailand with Rwanqa but when they landed, she had Rwanqa’s phone, but “Rwanqa was nowhere to be found”.
Rwanqa who returned to South Africa confirmed she was travelling with Nobanda but denied the claim that she was a recruiter, saying that she could not be blamed for her friend’s arrest, News24 earlier reported.