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23-year-old Nigerian man sentenced to death for drug trafficking in Vietnam

A 23-year-old Nigerian man was sentenced to death on Tuesday, May 25, for smuggling nearly six kilos of methamphetamine from Cambodia to Vietnam.

Theophilus Ugwu was charged with “illegal trafficking of narcotic substances” by the People’s Court of  Western province of Tay Ninh, Vietnam, Thanh Nien newspaper reported.

On March 8 2020, police found Ugwu transporting 12 bags containing meth from Cambodia to Vietnam in Tay Ninh’s Ben Cau District. The meth weighed around 5.92 kilograms.

Ugwu said he came from Nigeria to Cambodia in February last year as a soccer player. But in March, he became acquainted with another African, who promised to help him play for a famous Cambodian club.

On March 8, the man hired Ugwu to deliver a bag containing the drugs from Phnom Penh to Ho Chi Minh City (HCMC). Tay Ninh borders both HCMC and Phnom Penh.

Ugwu accepted the deal and got $1,000, but was eventually busted by police as he tried to smuggle the drugs into Vietnam through less-traveled paths.

In court, Ugwu said he did not know the bag contained drugs.

The repeated seizure of huge amounts of narcotics has occurred despite Vietnam having some of the world’s toughest drug laws.

Those convicted of possessing or smuggling more than 600 grams of heroin or cocaine or over 2.5 kg of methamphetamine could face capital punishment.

Production or sale of 100 grams of heroin or 300 grams of any other illegal substance is also punishable by death.

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