The family of a Malawian, who died while on remand in India for drug trafficking offences, has said it is at pains to learn that it will have to shoulder her remains’ repatriation bills estimated at K2 million.
Beauty Nkhoma,36, who was arrested in the Asian nation last year, died on Sunday at DDU hospital in New Delhi where she was admitted to after being taken ill, according to Hari Nagar Police Station memo.
Died in India on Sunday: Nkhoma
The memo addressed to the Malawi High Commission in India, said her body was being kept at the said hospital’s mortuary.
“It is requested to inform about the death of said UTP [Under Trial Prisoner] to his relative in Malawi and also depute some officer from the embassy to facilitate the further proceedings into the matter,” reads the circular in part.
In an interview yesterday, her sister Ipyana Nkhoma said the Ministry of Foreign Affairs has advised them to raise resources for her body’s repatriation.
“Unfortunately, it is tough for us to raise the funds which we have enquired total to about K2 million. Honestly, we are stranded and exhausted,” she said yesterday.
In a response to our questionnaire, Ministry of Foreign Affairs spokesperson John Kabaghe confirmed that it is the family’s responsibility to repatriate the remains.
Told that the family says it cannot raise the funds, he responded: “I hope you and other well meaning Malawians could also come in to support the family. We could also try to raise funds from the government.”
The accused was intercepted after her arrival from Malawi’s capital Lilongwe via Addis Ababa (Ethiopia) on May 27, the statement issued by the customs department then said.
As quoted by an Indian online publication, The Print, after being checked, nothing suspicious was found but upon medical examination, it was discovered that certain materials were secreted inside her body.
A medical procedure yielded in recovery of 51 capsules, containing 607 grams of cocaine, having an international market value of Rs 9.11 crore (K1.15bn), it said.
Nkhoma, a single mother, is survived by four children, one in university, another in secondary school and two pursuing primary education, her sister said.