Two Nigerians charged with smuggling more than a kilo of cocaine into Cambodia from Colombia went on trail yesterday at Phnom Penh Municipal Court.
Presiding Judge Seng Rithy said Boniface Okoro Chukwuka, 28, and Frank Obiora Dozie, 34, were charged with drug transport and trafficking. They face a life sentence each if convicted.
Judge Rithy said the two were arrested on July 13, 2017 by Anti-Drug police working with customs police at the Phnom Penh airport.
He added that after their arrests, police seized 189 packs of cocaine, weighing 1.1 kilos, which were hidden in a box containing imitation jewellery that had been couriered to Cambodia.
During the trial, Mr Chukwuka admitted to the crime while Mr Dozie claimed innocence.
Mr Chukwuka said that he bought the drugs for $15 000 from a Nigerian man in Colombia and intended to sell it in Thailand.
“The drugs seized belonged to me. I imported them from Colombia,” he told the court. “I acknowledge that I have made a mistake. I would like to request a lenient sentence.”
Mr Dozie said he knew Mr Chukwuka, but did not know anything about the drugs.
He said that he was arrested because he was staying with Mr Chukwuka when police raided his rental house in Chom Chao commune last year.
“I am innocent,” he said. “I would like to ask the court to drop the charge and release me.”
However, deputy prosecutor Kol Bun said the two accused belonged to a group of foreign drug traffickers who were hiding in Cambodia.
A verdict is due July 12.