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Harsh verdict in drugs case

A Nigerian woman was found guilty yesterday of international drug trafficking and handed a 25-year prison sentence by Phnom Penh Municipal Court.

Collin Seniola Bosede, 36, was flying from Nigeria to Cambodia with a stop in Qatar last August when airport police found 1.5 kilograms of methamphetamine in her bag, according to court officials.

“The court has sentenced her to 25 years and fined her 40 million riel [$10,000],” Suos Sam Ath, Phnom Penh Municipal Court judge, said, adding that Bosede was convicted of international drug trafficking and had the right to appeal.

Bosede was arrested at Phnom Penh International Airport after landing on August 4, police said.

“She was arrested while police checked her luggage and found a big package of drugs hidden inside clothes, along with a laptop and a number of cassettes players,” said Sok Chour, deputy director of the Anti-Drug Police Department in the Ministry of Interior.

According to Bosede’s confession, the drugs were brought from Qatar with the intent to sell them here, Chour said.

During her trial on May 26, Bosede said the luggage belonged to a Canadian man named Amad. She met him at Qatar International Airport while transferring between flights and he asked that she bring luggage to an unnamed man living in Phnom Penh.

As the court read the verdict yesterday, she began crying.

“It was very unjust. I was not the drug trafficker. Please release me. I want to go back home,” Bosede said.

She added that when she was given the luggage from Amad, she checked it, but did not find any drugs, only the laptop and cassette players.

Bosede is not the only foreign national recently to receive a lengthy sentence for drug trafficking. At the end of last month, a French woman, an Australian woman and a Nigerian man were sentenced to between 23 and 27 years each.

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