News24

Drug mule got money before trip

2011-12-16 09:10

Grahamstown - Alleged drug mule Nolubabalo Nobanda came into a lot of money shortly before her departure for Brazil, a friend of hers said on Thursday.

Four weeks before Nobanda's departure for Brazil she offered to take five friends to dinner at a restaurant called Fusions in Port Elizabeth, her friend Asanda Gqeke, 23, said.

Before the dinner Nobanda showed Gqeke an SMS she had received on her cellphone indicating R20 000 had been deposited into her bank account.

"She smiled at me and said 'friend business is good'. I never bothered to ask what it was for," Gqeke said.

Nobanda was arrested at Bangkok's Suvarnabhumi airport on Monday after getting off a Qatar Airways flight.

Police said they noticed a white substance in her hair. They found 1.5kg of cocaine with an estimated street value of R1.2m hidden in her dreadlocks.

She admitted to authorities that she smuggled the drugs and said she was hired to deliver the cocaine to a customer at a hotel in Bangkok.

Gqeke said the bill for that evening came to R400, and Nobanda insisted she wanted to pay it alone, refusing help from a male friend who was with them.

"She said she was prepared to dine us to an amount of R1 000, so R400 was too little for her," said Gqeke.

Gqeke pleaded with South African authorities to help Nobanda.

She recounted how she saw Nobanda for the last time on the night of November 27, after dropping her off in Western Road, central Port Elizabeth, where she was due to meet a woman known only as Mavis.

Nobanda sent her an SMS at 21:36 saying Mavis had arrived to fetch her.

"It was the last time I saw her, until she called me from Brazil saying she was safe. I asked if she called her mom, she said no but promised to do so," Gqeke said.

Comments
  • Anthony - 2011-12-16 09:15

    great now do the time.

      rbphiri - 2011-12-16 10:29

      Now she wines and dines behind a prison cell - will she ask the inmates to chip in to pay the bill. One can't begin to fathom the torment she has to endure trying to eat pap and boerewors with chop sticks...let alone drinking tea with chop sticks...

      Walter - 2011-12-16 10:41

      @Ian: Exactly my thoughts, drugs destroy lives and she is old enough to know what she was doing (wrong!)! Thai prisons don't have a reputation to be 'easy' on prisoners, she won't know what hit her when her daily routine begins (and continues for probably at least 20 years!)! Instead of the press seemingly focusing on her situation, it would be better to publish stories (with pictures!) of what life in a Thai prison is like, maybe some others might not be stupid enough to throw away their lives for a measly R20,000!

      Timothy - 2011-12-16 10:59

      I mentioned in a previous article that I live in Bangkok, Thailand what I did not mention was how racist Thais are towards black people. I do not think words can describe how she is going suffer in a Thai prison and I wish that on to no one. Thailand is her new home now, as her chances are better winning the lottery then getting released on a royal pardon. She will have to learn the language and accept the culture and learn to live with all the abuse she will face on a daily basis because she is an African and a conficted drug smuggler (which really is not all that easy)She will probably get sent to bang kwhan prison which is notorious for their harsh treatment towards inmates. Have a look at this website to get an idea of life inside a Thai prison. http://www.thaiprisonlife.com I wish you all the best with your new life nolubabalo nobanda.

      Squeegee - 2011-12-16 11:21

      Now her family will use up all their resourses visiting, getting legal help, etc. Her greed will destroy them financially. I think smuggler is a better description than mule in her case.

      Ibhubesi - 2011-12-16 12:11

      @Walter & Ian. I agree. In stead of drumming up support and turning this into a tear jerker, the media should portray this for what it is. Easy money, destruction of lives, and a few documentaries on SABC about life in a Thai prison, or a Chinese execution will do wonders for other kids wanting to choose a life of crime. Our big problem is, in our society crime has become a way of life and we spend far too much time defending criminals in our courts. This government needs to decide why they have laws at all, if our courts can't implement those laws. Damn this cushy constitution we have. It has done this country a grave injustice and innocent people are paying for the joys of criminals. And I'm not talking about women rights or gay marriages. Those issues don't kill people. If you kill somebody, you should get your own medicine back.

      spartan888 - 2011-12-16 15:26

      Drugs should be legalized. Laws and penalties dealing with drugs have done NOTHING to curb the industry. In fact the industry has grown.You can hate on dealers and traffickers as much as you like, but at the end of the day, its peoples' own choice to take drugs and hence create a demand. Wake up people, being harsh on drugs is backfiring. Rather get the pharmaceuticals to make drugs and whoever wants to take them go ahead. I wont, maybe you wont, but who cares theyll take drugs regardless of whether its legal or not. At least they'll be taking good stuff instead of rat poison mixed with coke in the unregulated illegal drug trade. Now before you respond, i would like you to see this article by the economist http://www.economist.com/node/13237193 you will see that the issu of legalising drugs is not that crazy. goodbye

      Timothy - 2011-12-17 01:57

      @spartan well said mate. I agree with you 100%. Even though Thailand has such strict laws against drug trafficking, it is still sooo easy to buy drugs over here. Just legalize it and regulate the industry.

      Sharkshoot - 2011-12-17 11:19

      Before long this hero of the nation will be in line for an ANC position for her dedication to the struggle. Watch.

      Gungets - 2011-12-17 15:31

      Timothy, Spartan- how can you know that drugs laws have done nothing to curb the spread of drugs. There has never been a time when they were legal. You have no frame of reference. Even the article you point to claims that it is "least bad" at best.

  • chris.kleynhans - 2011-12-16 09:23

    R20 000.00 may sound like a lot of money for a poor person but it is not worth it to firstly set up your fellow human being to be killed eventually and addiction is like a disease, it propagates and kills at the same time. So every seed you plant escalates. Secondly, to go to jail for life for that sort of money, for many middle class people that is not even one months salary. You must be a complete idiot to risk your life for that sort of money.

      Dean Kenad - 2011-12-16 09:26

      She was poor at all

      Dean Kenad - 2011-12-16 09:26

      She wasnt poor at all

      brieuse - 2011-12-16 09:27

      Unfortunately the criminals will target people that can't resist the money.

      Squeegee - 2011-12-16 11:23

      Brieuse - why do you speak of her as a victim? She IS a criminal. She enjoyed the fruit of a criminal enterprize. She is no innocent.

  • Rashaad Hendricks - 2011-12-16 09:25

    Sounds as if this was not first time she had been used as a mule.

      Squeegee - 2011-12-16 11:25

      Margie, again, who says she is an innocent being used by dealers. She was a student with a future. She was paid up front - she was part of the dealer network.

      Squeegee - 2011-12-16 16:12

      MArgie, you're right - she should be in a cell next to this mule.

  • Vegi - 2011-12-16 09:26

    "Business is good," I hope jail will be good too.

      rbczovczov - 2011-12-16 14:37

      Easy come easy go!

  • jruppersberg - 2011-12-16 09:26

    Hopefully she will rot in jail for the rest of her life. Drug mules destroys more lives than they realise and should pay the price for her stupidity.

      George - 2011-12-16 09:49

      Drug mules have turned her into a real ASS

  • Rashaad Hendricks - 2011-12-16 09:27

    Very hard to feel sorry for her when she was clearly enjoying the proceeds of her future crime

      rbphiri - 2011-12-16 10:33

      Worst of all times live revealed her FB status update where she spoke of drinking and partying when she returns to SA

      Squeegee - 2011-12-16 11:26

      Who says it was her first time?

  • Trevor - 2011-12-16 09:28

    Almost get the feeling that there is a push to play her as a victim and to generate sympathy....mmm....collective responsibility?

      Paul - 2011-12-16 09:35

      It's all Apartheid's fault... or Global Warming... or flouride in the water... or something! Meh...

      Vegi - 2011-12-16 10:02

      Trevor There is no push for victimwood. It is just disgusting that South African are murdered in foreign regimes or in foreign countries on a yearly basis.

      John - 2011-12-16 10:09

      Eskom...all your fault!

      Squeegee - 2011-12-16 11:28

      They published her matric results in the paper and turned her into a money hungry, drug dealing idiot who couldn't care less who's lives she destroys.

      gabi.ndebele - 2011-12-16 13:04

      hahaha Paul I love the way you put it! Its never the person's fault in SA always something there to blame. Pity I dont feel bad for her at all!

  • Varena - 2011-12-16 09:31

    She need to devulge all those who r behind the scenes. These people are the same people who give rise in crimes like murder and some serious crimes. They need to be punishmented as to send the message to those to be.

  • TheWatcher - 2011-12-16 09:31

    Well if this story is true I take back one of my comments in another article about not knowing the circumstances and possible coercion and stand with the rest saying 'don't do the crime if you can't do the time'

  • Chloe - 2011-12-16 09:34

    Rot in hell girl - A Thai prison is like hell, you will find that out soon.

      George - 2011-12-16 09:52

      At wdasneves So what you ars saying if you get caught she has learnt her lesson. Are you that doef to think they must now let her go free. HELL NO ROT IN JAIL

  • Rashaad Hendricks - 2011-12-16 09:34

    The money should be traced if possible and also confiscated as the proceeds of crime.

  • Rashaad Hendricks - 2011-12-16 09:38

    The money should be traced if possible and also confiscated as the proceeds of crime.

  • Nicholas - 2011-12-16 09:43

    You will always get caught in the end ...

  • gcshrimpton - 2011-12-16 09:45

    Oe eh eh girlfriend. Hope u rot in jail or even better get the death sentence.The only thoughts I have about u are BLACK!Comment by Tickey & Friends against rsols.

  • bongani.pasha - 2011-12-16 09:56

    now she will wine and dine in a Bangkok prison where she belongs and stop trafficking poison.

  • Ian - 2011-12-16 09:57

    brazil, i thought shes in bangkok

      Phoebe - 2011-12-16 10:18

      Jeez Ian, are you really SO stupid! The gilr flew to Brazil to pick up the drugs then flew via Qatar to Bangkok where she was caught.

      Ian - 2011-12-16 10:22

      @PHOEBE jeez phoebe are you that stupid, they didnt report that DUH, all they said was she was busted in Bangkok, hope they swing her ass

      derekneilmaclachlan - 2011-12-16 12:35

      Actually Ian...they did report that!!! So who is the stupid one now!

  • Vegi - 2011-12-16 09:58

    People do not learn. A South African girl was assassinated by the Chinese Government last week. This girl wants to increase the statistics of South Africans murdered by foreign regimes. If people keep within their shores a lot of trouble could be avoied. In South Africa there is no risk of death at the hands of a government. I don't know how some nations allow themselves to be governed by brutes e.g. China and Singapore. A drug mule deserves a life in jail, not death.

      Ibhubesi - 2011-12-16 10:10

      Morning Sweet Potato, Every country has the right to choose their laws. Most countries have democratically elected governments and if the death penalty is their choice of punishment, it was voted in by the citizens of that country. Before a person decides to commit a crime in a foreign country, they should check what the punishment is. No good crying afterwards and condemning other countries for their laws. Other than you wanting to change the world, how are you this morning Sweet Potato?

      Vegi - 2011-12-16 10:19

      Ibhubese I am good this morning. I am only disturbed by your brutality. Otherwise how are you.

      Phoebe - 2011-12-16 10:20

      Vegi, how many South Africans are being "murdered" or "assassinated" by foreign regimes each year? Please tell us, will you?

      jerry.pres - 2011-12-16 10:36

      @vegi Yeah and you can pay bills to keep them alive !

      davieoosie - 2011-12-16 12:21

      How many lives are destroyed and/or taken by our own government indirectly. (Hope not directly) By keeping the poor poor. Stealing or misuse TAX money and living lavish lifestyles to the cost of the SA people.

      makesuthink - 2011-12-19 11:48

      Mr Table your name siuts you as you have the same mental capacity as your names together. The girl in China was not assassinated , she was executed because of her crime. The Drug mules that sit in jail.who is paying for their food and clothes hpoefully only you because why must we pay for somebody who intentionaly transports drugs that maime and kill

  • Nikki - 2011-12-16 10:02

    ...Money folks...the root of ALL evil! Not her upbringing, not poor girl that didn't know any better, not poor girl that was a victim of preying criminals....M-O-N-E-Y! She wanted it, she wanted her friends to see she is now a big lady with cash....and this is the result. You play with fire you get burnt!

      derekneilmaclachlan - 2011-12-16 12:36

      THE LOVE OF MONEY!!! Not money

  • efgous - 2011-12-16 10:10

    If you want to stop traficking legalise the drug... prices will drop, no traficking wil happen, regulate the drug so it does not have reckless chemicals introduced into it as a cutting agent.(Increasing volume with less expensive substance)... I know my theory will have its critics, but face facts, people are using drugs while it is illegal, it clearly hasn't stopped them, it has only lined the pockets of criminals and destroyed lives. The more illegal it becomes the more money there is to make. Prove me wrong.

      Ibhubesi - 2011-12-16 10:40

      The cost and burden on the health system would be too high. As it is we can't cope with our current health facilities. I would hate to see the Emergency Room on a Saturday night if 500 overdosed people come in together with the 200 stab wounds and abuse victims. That is not counting those with real problems. HIV would shoot through the roof because these drug dependant people are no longer concious enough to know the dangers of needles. Drug dependants are not a part of society that can or are able to make the right choices for themselves.

      efgous - 2011-12-16 11:08

      You just identified a second benefit... job creation. Set up drug centres, the money generated from centralising the trade can create jobs for more people, health, social all sectors can benefit. The more open and developed the process becomes the better. Do not see the change as a contained system to be implemented in current infrastructure. See it as a new development. But then again, where money is envolved on that kind of scale a system gets corrupted in itself... catch 22 seems to be the order of the day.

      sachasea - 2011-12-16 11:25

      On the contrary Ibhubesi. Portugal decriminalised the personal possession of drugs back in 2001. According to an article on Wikipedia "The EU had in effect forced the Portuguese government to make radical measures to reduce Portugal's record high incidence of HIV/AIDS. In 1999 Portugal had the highest rate of HIV amongst injecting drug users in the European Union. The number of newly diagnosed HIV cases among drug users has decreased to 13.4 per million population in 2009 but that is still high above the European average (2.85 cases per million). There were 2000 new cases a year, in a country of 10 million people. 45 % of reported AIDS cases recorded in 1997 originated among IV drug users, so targeting drug use was seen as an effective avenue of HIV prevention."

      sachasea - 2011-12-16 11:26

      With Portugal effectively having a liberal attitude towards drugs for the past 10 years, with treatment being the main point of focus, the following has been noted: - Increased uptake of treatment. - Reduction in HIV diagnoses amongst drug users by 17% - Reduction in drug related deaths, although this reduction has decreased in later years, and the number of drug related deaths is now almost on the same level as before the Drug strategy was implemented. However, this may be accounted for by improvement in measurement practices, which includes a doubling of toxicological autopsies now being performed, meaning that more drugs related deaths are likely to be recorded. - Lifetime use of illicit drugs increased from 7.8% to 12%, lifetime use of cannabis increased from 7.6% to 11.7%, cocaine from 0.9% to 1.9%, ecstasy from 0.7% to 1.3%, and heroin from 0.7% to 1.1% It has been proposed that this effect may have been been related to the candor of interviewees, who may have been inclined to answer more truthfully due to a reduction in the stigma associated with drug use. Statistical trends in neighboring Spain and Italy during the same period also suggested an unclear relation between decriminalization and increased drug use, comparatively. - Drug use among adolescents and "problematic" users declined. - Drug-related criminal justice workloads decreased, while the amount of drugs seized increased in quantity. - Decreased street value of most illicit drugs, some significantly.

      Squeegee - 2011-12-16 11:32

      efgghead, so why are cigarettes and alcohol and perscription drugs still smuggled?

      efgous - 2011-12-16 11:48

      @squeelgee... They are smuggled to skip taxes, that is a whole different argument in itself... not because they are illegal. Nice one on the word play... efgghead... LMAO...

      Ibhubesi - 2011-12-16 11:52

      @Sasha. The realities of our socio-economic landscape is vastly different from Portugal or any other European country. I don't know where you live, but if you happen to live in the Cape, you should talk to Cape Town families who have become victim of drug traders and the violence that goes along with that. When you are freezing in a shack, ANYTHING, even a shot of something, helps to take you away from your own realities. That is the function of drugs. To numb your soul and make reality go away. Is this the way to deal with your problems? I don't think so. We can sit and debate this issue all day long. I too would believe in anything other than what we have currently. But our realities of our economic situation when drugs are added into this equation, makes matter only worse than they already are.

      Pieter - 2011-12-16 18:34

      efgous - Brilliant idea and since my daughter used to be a heroin addict you would probably suggest that I should have let her keep on using it. Do you know that 97% of heroin addicts are dead after 3 years constant use? Following your advise of continuing to give her the drugs would have meant my daughter would have died 3 years ago. Luckily I did not follow such a route and because of that she has now been free for 3 years from the drug. She was only 15 at the time she started using it. She wrote her matric while on the drugs. The only way to get a heroin addict off heroin has 3 steps. 1. Withholding the drug from her (not as you suggest legalizing it) for an extended period of time, at least 1 year. You can use detox pills for the 1st stage to get her through the withdrawel stage. Methadone, Subutex and Suboxone are useless synthetic heroin alternatives described by Psychiatrists in South Africa. They will only keep you addicted for longer and make it more difficult to come off the drug. 2. Give her lots of love (very important) 3. Give her a purpose in life The purpose of live she found by herself was a boyfriend whom she met in rehab. My prove...you decide

      Pieter - 2011-12-16 18:36

      Sorry, that should have been proof, not prove

      efgous - 2011-12-19 15:56

      @justmy2cents, in no way I am endorsing drug use, and I am sorry if my comment drew the wrong conclusion. As there is a definite limit as to how long a comment is I did not explore all aims and objectives of my suggestion. As I said, not all persons will agree with me and that is great, because only in differences of opinion does one get a true solution. I am glad your daughter has been rehabilitated, and this is my wish for all drug addicts. The main thing in my suggestion is to get the people who are addicted away from the added dangers of it being illegal. I know this might be a controlling factor in itself because some won't try it because of the fear, but what is the use, if you are an addict and you need to put your life in danger to get your next fix. I would not suggest the center be a distribution center, but rather a treatment center, where you can treat the patient. Get the money out of the criminals pockets and into the pockets of the people who are trying to help. Imagine what rehab facilities could accomplish on the budgets of the drug lords... Hope this makes more sense.

  • Vegi - 2011-12-16 10:13

    @Nikki Money is not the root of all evil. Many good things have been done thanks to the money. You are able air your views on this forum thanks to the money. Money as a tool of trade is very useful and good. Imagine if you had to take your cow to Pick 'n Pay to get groceries. I just marvel at the logistics of such an undertaking. Thanks to money, you only sell the cow and get the money to buy groceries. Only the love of money is the root of evil. The evil multiplies when money is loved by an evil man or woman, like the ones who sent this girl to potential death so that they can make millions.

      Ibhubesi - 2011-12-16 10:47

      @Vegi. I think you have a lot more brains than what you let on in some of your comments. I think some of your comments are made just get people hysterical.! LOL LOL You would also make a very good advocate, if you aren't one already!

      Irene - 2011-12-16 12:41

      Ibhusi ~ don't get sucked into his evil mind. The vrot cabbage is a troll of note and you need to exercise caution with him. He gives meaning to the saying: Snake in the grass.

      Ibhubesi - 2011-12-16 14:29

      @Irene. LOL LOL LOL. Have a sense of humour. He does bring life to the forums. Come on, admit it! His posts are cleverly thought out to provoke a healthy debate on here.

  • fargone - 2011-12-16 10:17

    If this is true, then she knowingly smuggled narcotics into Thailand. Drugs destroy lives, her R20 000 payoff was drug money, shame on her! Cannot have sympathy.

  • mluleki.simelane - 2011-12-16 10:27

    Some ppl are saying the gov must intervene, but what for? Why must we waist our tax money on drug mules? Its not like she was caught steeling candy, she was bringing Poison into another country.

      Ibhubesi - 2011-12-16 10:58

      I fully agree Mluleki. It is the law abiding tax paying citizen that ends up paying for irresponsible people. Our government should stay out of this. We have far more urgent issues to deal with here at home than worry about drug mules that disobey laws in other countries.

      John - 2011-12-16 12:43

      You know IMPI, after reading the article above, I'm convinced that this is not the first time she has done this. Why would the drug lords give R20,000 up front to a newbie? Her statement to her friends that "business is good" also makes me think it wasn't her first time.

      Ibhubesi - 2011-12-16 12:56

      @John. Now you mention that John, that was what I thought last night! You have hit the nail on its head. She is a seasoned mule!

      Lara - 2011-12-16 15:28

      Seasoned by her own product?

  • Roy - 2011-12-16 10:32

    She was aware that what she was doing was wrong. Our Government should stay out of it and let her suffer the consequences immaterial of the fact that she is a citizen of this country. There are to many people who fall for earning big money and when caught,blame others. She bragged about the money she got so was aware that there was a possibility of being caught. Let her spend whatever time she gets in jail,in Thailand,and let her pay for her crime

  • mluleki.simelane - 2011-12-16 10:36

    When you say assassinate, you make it sound like the Chinese hunted her and killed her. She broke the law and in China that crime carries a death penalty. Iran also excecutes drug dealers

  • Nelson Moagi - 2011-12-16 10:44

    Although I admit that she did this knowingly. You know, she took a short cut to "le good life". Prisons in South Africa are correctional facilities, she should come back to be corrected and serve time...here. She was wrong...and she knew it from the start. Live and let live. Let her come back.

      Ibhubesi - 2011-12-16 11:03

      I don't agree with you Nelson. If you break a law in another country, you should do your time there. Let their tax payers feed her.

      paulmandlankosi - 2011-12-16 12:34

      She did not commit the crime here, so she can't come back to do the time here.

  • DikgosiThokoane - 2011-12-16 10:45

    It is sad that she wasted her life like that......... But she is enjoying the fruits of her labour right now; no pity from me....... Girl walked into this door with her eyes open........ Now for the death penalty or life in prison, same difference if u ask me.......

  • Tshivhombela Fhatuwani - 2011-12-16 13:14

    Ineed business is good but at times it can be bad. When you are clever your decisions are influenced by emotions and greed but when you are wiser you take time to take decision, clever people always get what they deserve. I think the depositer of the money can still be traceable and the friend can still give vital evidence.

      Boer - 2011-12-16 14:47

      Tshivhombela, what is your favourite number...a wild guess...3!

  • Tshivhombela Fhatuwani - 2011-12-16 13:33

    Ineed business is good but at times it can be bad. When you are clever your decisions are influenced by emotions and greed but when you are wiser you aways when to exercise restraint, clever people always get what they deserve. I think the depositer of the money can still be traceable and the friend can still give vital evidence which may lead to the arrest of drug lorda.

  • nketsi - 2011-12-16 16:19

    I really feel sorry for the family......... Any way she have to pay for a actions! I hope young people have learned a lot from this.... Is sad!

  • Alva - 2011-12-16 18:51

    Stupid, stupid girl!

  • Juicecard - 2011-12-16 18:51

    Good she wined and dined for the time she`s gonna do now

  • Siso - 2011-12-17 00:06

    What is R20 000 compared to R1.2m? To some people R20 000 is not even one month's salary, money the root of evil - very true hey...

  • wzimbeva - 2011-12-17 00:06

    The DA must stop shouting to the SA government to help drug smugglers who are caught in foreign land. The govenment has a lot of issues to solve here at home than to focus on an individual who chose to make quick & easy money. Each & every country has its on laws & Zuma has got no power to change them & if Zille thinks she can help, she must do so thru her party. Who the hell do you think SA is who can cross borders & tell pple there hw to treat criminals just bcz she is SouthAfrican. Everyone is gona know from these two ladies that crime doesnt pay.

  • Redganji - 2011-12-17 09:26

    idiot she jst wasted her life......really 23 yeras old, former witts student and is this daft. It took the colambians( cocaine)afghanistans(heroine) cartels decades to create ways of smuggling drugs and this retard thinks she can jst go in an airport and smuggle drugs in her hair jst like that.

  • yolande.vanzyl - 2011-12-17 16:01

    lock her up do the time

  • NtombiMasbeu - 2011-12-19 09:26

    no no we are not going to help she was doing business i thought it was her first tym. China pls take care of her. everyone seems to had their fair share of the money. there's more than they cared to admit i withdraw my sympathy for her.. lethal injection for her.

  • Chabi - 2011-12-19 13:21

    it's called the "Last Supper".... Truth be told she is stunning, what a waste of beauty.

  • James - 2011-12-19 15:06

    reply to ian let her rot in jail for a few years and then sent her back in a little wooden box

  • barbie.fourie - 2011-12-29 11:39

    She must also get the lethal injection like Linden....but guess they will do everything in their power to help cause she is black.

  • Stan - 2012-02-08 08:19

    five friends at a restaurant and the bill came to R400? Wow... what were they eating sandwiches?

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