Phnom Penh Municipal Court yesterday tried two Nigerian nationals for transporting and trafficking more than half a kilogram of crystal meth in the capital last year.
Presiding Judge Leang Samnath identified them as Enekanma Eneka Christ, 38, a tourist, and Alhassan Safianu, 38, a shoe vendor.
He said that both were charged with drug transport and trafficking and face up to 20 years in jail each if convicted.
Judge Samnath said that Mr Christ was arrested at about 3.30 pm on August 23 by the Interior Ministry’s counter terrorism and transnational crime department police officers after he brought a box containing the drugs to a post office in Daun Penh district in order to send it to Australia.
He said that after his arrest, police seized 700 grams of crystal meth from him.
Judge Samnath added that based on Mr Christ’s confession, police in collaboration with the court prosecutor arrested Mr Safianu, who owned the drugs seized, in the evening of August 23 at his rental house in Por Senchey district.
During yesterday’s trial, Mr Christ told the court that the drugs seized from him belonged to Mr Safianu.
He said that on the day of his arrest, Mr Safianu asked him to carry a box containing soap to send it to a friend living in Australia via the post office in Daun Penh district.
Mr Christ said that when he received the box he did not know that it contained drugs and only knew about it after he was arrested by police at the post office.
“I am not a drug trafficker or owner of drugs seized,” he told the court yesterday. “The box of drugs seized from me belonged to Mr Safianu who asked me to send it to Australia via the post office on his behalf.”
“I am innocent so please kindly drop the charges and release me,” he added.
Mr Safianu, however, denied Mr Christ’s allegations.
He told the court that he came to Cambodia as tourist in 2013 and later become a shoe vendor after marrying a Cambodian woman.
Mr Safianu said that he was acquainted with Mr Christ but did not know him well.
“I would like to completely deny Mr Christ’s accusations because I did not use him or ask him to take the box to the post office,” he told the court. “I do not know anything in this case and did not commit the crime which I am accused of.”
Deputy prosecutor Soeu Vanny told the court to uphold the charges and suggested that the judges’ council punish the accused.
“Although both have denied the charges, they do not have any real evidence to show the court that they are innocent,” she said. “Therefore, I suggest that the judges’ council punishes them according to the law.”
A verdict is due on December 20.