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Traffickers sentenced to 27 years

The former president of the Nigerian Association in Cambodia and a Filipino woman were sentenced  to 27 years in prison yesterday for trafficking drugs.

Their accomplices, a Cambodian and a Cambodian-American, were each sentenced to 25 years.

Presiding Judge of the Phnom Penh Municipal Court Sin Visal read the verdict yesterday, which sentenced the former president of the Nigerian Association, 39-year-old Okeke Ugochukwu  Emmanuel, and Auxillo Math Eaiheressa Dayanan, a 26-year-old Filipino national, to 27 years in prison. They were each ordered to pay a fine of US$17,500.

Cambodian national Yim Rithy, 37, and Cambodian-American Heng Mey, 34, were also given $17,500 fines on top of their 25-year sentences.

The judge said Auxillo Math Eaiheressa Dayanan had been arrested by immigration police in March at the Phnom Penh International Airport, where authorities found nearly three kilograms of heroin in her luggage. Based on answers during her questioning, the others were arrested the same day.

Okeke Ugochukwu Emmanuel maintained his innocence yesterday and said he would appeal.

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