LESEDI MOLAPISI: A Botswana woman who was reportedly executed in Bangladesh traveled to the Asian country after being lured by a Pretoria based travel agency, sources have said. It is further alleged that the same South Africa based tour business secured here visa and covered the travel costs for the unemployed Lasedi Molapisi.

The Botswana national who is from Ramotswa in Botswana was arrested at Bangladesh’s largest and main airport, the Hazrat Shahjalal International Airport (HSIA) in January this year on a flight from Johannesburg, South Africa, via Doha, with over 3kg of heroin in her luggage. She has denied having any knowledge that the drugs were in her bags.

After scanning her bag, Bangladeshi customs officials seized over 3kg of a heroin-like granular substance.

Lesedi Molapisi’s father said he is in contact with his daughter’s lawyer in Bangladesh, he told South African television news channel Newsroom Afrika.

“She is still alive,” the father said in an interview with Newsroom Afrika, dismissing rumours that Lesedi was executed last week.

He also said that the trial against his daughter had not started yet.

He added that he was communicating with his daughter through notes shared via the intermediary.

According to reports, Molapisi said he managed to retrieve a letter from his daughter’s luggage in Botswana, the letter was written from a Pretoria-based tour business to the Bangladeshi government requesting a business visa for Lesedi, so that she could be able to buy ready-made garment products in Bangladesh.

According to the letter which he read, the tour business offered to assist Lesedi in sourcing the ready-made garments and provide accommodation for her in Bangladesh.

“This suggests that she might have been lured into this, because they promised that they will assist her to go and buy ready-made garments in Bangladesh so that she could resell here in Botswana. That is when she went to Bangladesh, and she was arrested with the so-called illegal drug,“ he said.

He said he had not been in contact with his daughter, making it difficult for him to enquire from her what exactly happened, and that he had been getting information through the Bangladeshi attorney.

He told the television channel that he was communicating with his daughter via an intermediary contracted by an African association in Bangladesh to assist her.

“The trial has not yet started, that is what I know. The last communication I had with her through those notes was last week. She appeared in court on November 14 for mention not trial,” her father told Newzroom Afrika.

Bangladesh has a hard line approach to anti-drug laws.

The Narcotics Control Act 2018, which came into effect on December 27, 2018, mandates either the death penalty or life imprisonment for anyone convicted of committing a range of drug offences.