Footballer in drug sting

Buth Reaksmey Kongkea / Khmer Times No Comments Share:
Olisanwandu Echezona Samuel. KT/Chor Sokunthea

A Nigerian footballer has denied selling a package of crystal methamphetamine to an undercover police officer.
Olisanwandu Echezona Samuel, 34, appeared in Phnom Penh Municipal Court on Wednesday charged with drug trafficking.
Presiding judge Thlang Phaneth said Mr Samuel picked up a package of drugs from Sorya Mall in Phnom Penh’s Phsar Thmey II and gave it to an undercover agent who had ordered drugs from a group of Nigerian traffickers hiding out in the city.  
“He was arrested after he offered the package of drugs to undercover police,” Ms Phaneth said.  
“Police seized a black plastic package of crystal methamphetamine powder weighing 44.16 grams, a phone and a motorbike from him.”
During his trial yesterday, Mr Samuel denied the allegations.  
“Since arriving in Cambodia, I have had a job as a footballer. I was not a drug trafficker,” he said.
He said that on the day of his arrest, he was hired by a Nigerian man named Joe to take an envelope with passports to an unidentified Cambodian man at a barber shop in Sangkat Chom Chao, on the outskirts of the city.
He said he did not check the package or know that it contained drugs.
“When I was arrested, I tried to call Mr Joe to ask him to prove my innocence but I could not get hold of him,” he said.
He added that Mr Joe had promised to pay him $100 for the job.  
Deputy prosecutor Kuch Kimlong said the Nigerian man named Joe had not been charged because the court could not establish his real identity or whereabouts.  
Mr Kimlong said Mr Samuel’s account was just a tactic to evade charges. “He did not have any real evidence to show the court,” he said.
The verdict is due on May 23.

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