Durban - A South African police officer has been arrested in Hong Kong for allegedly trafficking drugs, it was reported on Tuesday.
Sergeant Busisiwe Zungu was arrested at Hong Kong International Airport, reported The Mercury.
Zungu’s arrest came as a shock to her family and friends who described her as a law-abiding citizen who “was very proud of her clean record”.
Her police partner also described her as a hard worker.
Zungu has been suspended from the Saps who are also conducting their own investigation into the alleged trafficking.
Patricia Gerber, head of Locked Up, an organisation that assists South Africans arrested overseas for drug smuggling, says China unfortunately has the death penalty for drug-related offences.
Last month, a Johannesburg father was sentenced to death in Malaysia after he was found guilty of drug smuggling.
Deon Cornelius was found guilty of smuggling 2kg of methamphetamine into Malaysia when he landed at Penang International Airport on 4 October 2013, News24 reported.
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Gerber says many of those who get arrested are decoys and not mules.
“They [the mules] travel all over the world and are protected by corrupt police and airport authorities,” Gerber said in an email to News24.
“The decoy on the other hand is a person who is recruited by means of manipulation, coercion and are threatened at times.
“They are recruited for the sole purpose [of being] arrested so that the drug mules can walk through with the larger amounts, this is done unbeknown to the decoy.
“Before the arrival of the decoy the airport receives a tip off... The mules do have a hassle-free passage.”
In 2011, South African woman, Janice Linden was executed in China for drug smuggling, reported Sapa.
She was arrested in Guangzhou in November 2008 after she was caught with 3kg of crystal methamphetamine (tik) in her luggage. She was convicted of drug smuggling in 2009.