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Backpack strap drug case heard

Backpack strap drug case heard

A Nigerian man and his Vietnamese wife conspired to mail heroin to Australia hidden in the straps of backpacks, the Phnom Penh Municipal Court heard yesterday.

According to evidence presented at their trial, Okeke Amedi Samuel, 34, and his partner, Ho Thu Nhu Thuy, 26, were arrested on July 15, 2014, after Australian authorities alerted Cambodian anti-drug police that they found 1,550g of heroin in eight packages hidden in backpacks sent from Cambodia.

Sok Suy, a worker at Choam Chao post office, in Phnom Penh’s Por Sen Chey district, testified Thu Nhu Thuy, together with a Cambodian woman, had paid $5 and deposited four or five backpacks on two occasions, before leaving in a Honda CRV.

Though a raid on their house turned up no drugs, the prosecutor alleged the pair had sent the packages to Australia via post, saying Samuel’s purported business – exporting clothes to Nigeria – was a front for drug trafficking, which should be punished under the anti-drug law.

However, denying the accusations, defence lawyer Kong Tilin requested the charges be dropped, saying there was no clear evidence establishing his clients owned the backpacks. A verdict is due March 3.

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