Nigerians, Vietnamese to stand trial for drug trafficking

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The Vietnamese Ministry of Public Security said on Friday they had suggested to the country's top prosecutors that eight people including six foreigners be charged with drug trafficking.

The eight that were arrested started operations in late 2008 and trafficked more than 11 kilograms of heroin before being caught in June last year, police said in the indictment sent to the Supreme People's Procuracy.

Investigators said the drug was transported by air from India, via Ho Chi Minh City, to China for consumption.

Among the accused were five Nigerians: Nnaji David Ete, 32, Okapor Peter Chuma, 35, Chukwuma Obi Remy, 40, Raphael Chika Okafor, around 30 and Nmamdi Aghaji, 32. They lived illegally in HCMC and hired Vietnamese women to hide heroin in shoes, buttons, books or on their body and smuggle it to China for US$300-1,000 a journey, investigators said.

The two Vietnamese involved were Doan Nguyen Minh Chau and Phan Thi Thanh Le, 30, wife of the ring leader Nnaji David Ete. Another member Regina Whing Wiri, 31, was from Zimbabwe.

Since 2008, Ete and Le managed to smuggle heroin from HCMC to China 25 times while Chau had made the journey ten times.

Sometimes the drug was smuggled through Malaysia before it reached China.

The ring owned a factory where the heroine was made more compact, police said.

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