Vietnam Court Overturned Death Penalty For Nigerian Drug Trafficker, Ejiogu Benjamin Ikechukwu

A court in Ho Chi Minh City on Monday [Aug. 17] reduced a death sentence previously handed to a Nigerian man for bringing methamphetamine into Vietnam to life imprisonment, local media report.

According to Thanhniennews, Ejiogu Benjamin Ikechukwu had nearly 3.3 kilograms of the drug in metal tubes and a laptop charger in his luggage as he flew to Tan Son Nhat in June 2012.

He had transited in Qatar.

The 33-year-old said he only planned to go to Vietnam to buy clothes to resell them in Nigeria and had no idea about the drug in his luggage. He said a man asked him to carry the tubes and the charger to Vietnam and someone would pick them up.

A Ho Chi Minh court in August 2013 sentenced him to death, but he appealed the verdict. The People's Supreme Court then canceled the verdict, ordering a new investigation.

Investigators could not track down the people who had used him as a drug mule. Those convicted of smuggling more than 600 grams of heroin or more than 2.5 kilograms of methamphetamine in Vietnam face the death penalty.

The production or sale of 100 grams of heroin or 300 grams of other illegal narcotics is also punishable by death.

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