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Family Business Nigerian man, wife gets 25 years in Cambodia for drug trafficking

A Nigerian man and his Vietnamese wife will serve 25 years in prison after they were sentenced for drug trafficking.

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Samuel Amechi Okeke being led to prison play

Samuel Amechi Okeke being led to prison

(Vietnam Times)

A 34-year-old Nigerian man, Samuel Amechi Okeke and his 26-year-old Vietnamese wife, Ho Thi Nhu Thuy, are to spend the next 25 years in prison after a Phnom Penh Municipal Court in Cambodia, found them guilty of trafficking 1.5 kg of heroin from Cambodia to Australia, in July, 2014.

Read: "Thank Your Stars: Vietnam court commutes death sentence passed on Nigerian drug pusher"

The couple was handed down the sentence following their arrest after customs officials in Australia intercepted 10 backpacks lined with heroin that they had mailed from the Dangkao district post office in May of 2014, and the parcels were later traced to th Okekes, leading to their arrest.

During the trial on February 2016, Thuy admitted to mailing the backpacks but said she did so at the request of a friend and was unaware they contained heroin, while Okeke claimed he knew nothing about the drugs.

Read: "Stubborn Fly: Nigerian man gets life jail for drug trafficking in Indonesia"

However, the presiding Judge, Than Leng, found them guilty and announced an identical sentence for Thuy and husband.

"The court decides to sentence, firstly, Samuel Amechi Okeke, 34, Nigerian, to 25 years in prison and fine him 50 million riel [about $12,500]." 

A Deputy Bureau Chief at the Cambodian Interior Ministry’s Internal Security Department, Hun Rithy, who led the initial investigation into the case, said he was satisfied with the verdict.

"It is appropriate because they are husband and wife, and they colluded," he said.

Okeke is also facing trafficking charges over 13 kg of methamphetamine seized from a Cambodian man in Phnom Penh late last month, the biggest drug seizure of the year in that country.

The intelligence agency describes the Nigerian who has been detention since his arrest in 2014, as the ring leader in a drug trafficking syndicate involving four other inmates.

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