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Nigerian footballer bags death sentence after smuggling drugs into Vietnam

By Barakat Odegbola

A court sitting in the Western province of Tay Ninh, Vietnam has sentenced a 23-year-old Nigerian man, identified as Theophilus Ugwu, for engaging in drug smuggling.

The 23-year-old, expected to die by hanging, was said to have smuggled nearly six kilos of methamphetamine from Cambodia to Vietnam. The meth said to weighed around 5.92 kilograms with a street value of N413k.

It was gathered that Ugwu was arrested by Police, on March 8, 2020, and arraigned before court after 12 bags containing meth from Cambodia to Vietnam in Tay Ninh’s Ben Cau District was recovered from him.

According to a local newspaper on Tuesday, May 25, Ugwu was charged with “illegal trafficking of narcotic substances” by the People’s Court of the Western province of Tay Ninh, Vietnam.

During the proceedings that lasted for several months, Ugwu said he came from Nigeria to Cambodia in February 2020 as a soccer player. But in March, he became acquainted with another African, who promised to help him play for a famous Cambodian club.

On the day he was caught, an unidentified man hired Ugwu to deliver a bag containing the drugs from Phnom Penh to Ho Chi Minh City (HCMC) Tay Ninh borders both HCMC and Phnom Penh.

“Ugwu accepted the deal and got $1,000, but was eventually busted by police as he tried to smuggle the drugs into Vietnam through less-traveled paths. In court, Ugwu claimed he was not aware that the bag contained drugs.”

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