Nigerians’ drugs appeals rejected by Cambodian govt

PHNOM PENH (The Phnom Penh Post/ANN) - Sentencing of seven Nigerian nationals to 10 years in prison was upheld by Supreme Court for their involvement in drug trafficking in Phnom Penh in 2014.

The Supreme Court upheld the Appeal Court’s verdict on Wednesday in
sentencing each of seven Nigerian nationals to 10 years in prison for
their involvement in drug trafficking in Phnom Penh in 2014, after
reviewing the case on June 26.

Presiding Judge Soeng Panhavuth said at the June 26 hearing that one
of the convicted men, Me Johanudom, 52, admitted in court that he had
delivered a black plastic bag to a man in Phnom Penh’s Sorya Mall in
exchange for $200, but said he was unaware that there were drugs in the
bag.

The other six Nigerian men claimed not to be involved in the case, but the police who detained them disagreed, Panhavuth said.

“In fact, the convicts gathered to plan the drug trafficking scheme,” he said.

Johanudom was seeking a sentence reduction while the others maintained their innocence.

According to the court report, the six other convicted men were
identified as Okechukwu Ikefu Aku, 28, Samson Echowdo, 32, Oragwam
Godwin Emeka, 32, Favour Ibezi Mako Oberta, 32, Thaddeus Ikechudwu
Onyinechi, 37 and 42-year-old Ezigbo Gabriel Chukwueloka, who did not
attend the hearing.

After detaining Johanudom, the police ordered him to take them to his
apartment at Borey New World in Por Sen Chey district, near where the
other six men were then also arrested.

Four men were detained at a restaurant operated by Echowdo – one of
the convicts – while two more were apprehended on the roadside in Chaom
Chao commune.

On September 18, 2015, the Phnom Penh Municipal Court sentenced each
of the men to 10 years in prison and fined them 20 million riel
(approximately $5,000) for illegal drug trafficking under Article 40 of
the Law on Drug Control.

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