Two Nigerians, one Vietnamese snared in Saigon drug bust

Anti-narcotics police in Ho Chi Minh City on Thursday detained two Nigerian men and one Vietnamese woman for illegally trading methamphetamine for profit of VND70 million ($3,000) a kg.

drug trade, HCMC, drug trafficking ring, Nigerian men, methamphetamine

Ochie Paul Ejike, 51, and his 35-year-old Vietnamese partner Ly Moc Kiu, along with fellow Nigerian Chukwuemeka Confidence Onyiriuka were identified as "major figures" in a drug trafficking ring monitored by police for several months prior to the arrests.

Earlier, police had found Chukwuemeka often received shipments of clothing from Cambodia at an apartment in Binh Tan District, though without any clothes ever seen being sold.

Every week, Chukwuemeka had met Ochie and his partner at various secret locations.

After months of monitoring, police identified the three as part of a drug trafficking ring in the city.

Last week, Kiu was driving on Quang Trung Street in Go Vap District when she was stopped by police. Officers subsequently found three kilograms of meth hidden in tea packages inside her storage compartment.

Phung told investigators she used to sell clothes and that she was married to Ochie. After giving birth to two children, they switched to trading drugs, assisted by various Nigerian compatriots.

Each week, Kiu received five to seven kilograms of meth, which she delivered to her partners. She earned VND70 million per kg, investigators said.

Police are expanding their investigation.

HCMC has been a transit hub for drugs trafficked from the Golden Triangle, top police officers said. From here, the drugs are taken to Taiwan, the Philippines, Malaysia, South Korea and even Europe, Australia and Latin America.

Vietnam has some of the world’s toughest drug laws. Those convicted of possessing or smuggling more than 600 g of heroin or over 2.5 kg of methamphetamine face death.

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