Tuesday, July 16, 2013

Nigerian Sentenced To 30 Years For Smuggling Cocaine


The special NDPS court, on Tuesday, sentenced a 33-year-old Nigerian to 30 years of imprisonment for smuggling 980 gm of cocaine from Dubai to Mumbai in August 2009. The court also slapped a fine of Rs 2 lakh on him.

Special Judge MY Mankar convicted Musa Abdul Kenneth from Delta, Nigeria, under the Narcotics Drugs and Psychotropic Substances Act. Kenneth was booked under two sections of the act--one for smuggling the drugs and another for drug possession. Both sentences, each for 15 years, will run consecutively.

According to the prosecution, on August 20, 2009, Kenneth arrived from Dubai to Mumbai Sahar international airport. He was carrying two handbags. When they were checked, the authorities found something suspicious in his grey hand bag and immediately stopped him.

A R Gupte, the Air Intelligence Unit (AIU) officer who was on duty, then found that the bottom of the bag was covered with a silver wrap. When the wrapping was removed, as many as 83 pale yellow capsules were found inside. Lab tests confirmed that the capsules were cocaine. Kenneth was immediately arrested.

During the trial, the prosecution examined four witnesses, all of them members of the airport authorities. AS Sarpande, advocate for the accused, argued that the bag did not belong to Kenneth. "Kenneth had earlier travelled from Lagos to Dubai and his bags were checked many times. Then how come the authorities did not find anything suspicious?" said Sarpande.

Judge Mankar, however, said, "If the authorities in Dubai or Lagos missed the capsules, it doesn't mean that Kenneth is not guilty." The family of the accused is now planning to appeal to the High Court.
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