Drug mule headmistress jailed in UK
Durban - The former headmistress of a Durban primary school has been jailed in the UK for almost five years for attempting to smuggle cocaine into the country.
Annabella Momplé, 46, pleaded guilty to the charge after being arrested at Heathrow Airport in December 2011 with R4.3m worth of cocaine in her luggage, reported the Daily News.
She was formerly the headmistress at Carrington Heights Primary School.
Momplé’s arrest shocked friends and colleagues who thought she had gone away to her uncle’s funeral in Northern Ireland. She told her family she was going to the UK for an education conference.
But instead she travelled to Brazil to pick up the cocaine, which had been soaked into towels.
It was revealed in court that Momplé had become a drug mule to help repay her husband’s gambling debt, which had ruined both of them financially and was about to cost them their house. They were also physically threatened.
Her brother, Paddy Harper, said his sister was a respected educator who had helped many children. He said her family was devastated by the news. They had apparently not been aware of their financial difficulties.
She was apparently also targeted because she had a British passport, meaning she would arouse less suspicion at airport terminals.