On Thursday, December 23, 2021, a Facebook user with the name Paul Onovoh posted an image of three men on handcuff with cocaine ice before them, claiming they were Nigerian arrested for drug trafficking in Cambodia.
The content written above the picture reads: “Three Nigerian men who were caught with cocaine “ice” in Cambodia has been charged to death sentence! Rip guys, continue sharing until it gets to their various parents.”
As of the time of fact-checking this claim, the post has generated 10 comments, 11 reactions while 32 users have shared it.
N-VA extracted the claim, “Three Nigerians Arrested for Trafficking Drugs in Cambodia were Sentenced to Death” and went on to fact-check and verify its authenticity.
POTENTIAL IMPACT OF THE CLAIM
The report shows that Nigeria is presently facing high unemployment rates, conflicts, insecurity, and youths are illegally migrating to other countries while acting as drug mules.
Nigerian news websites are awash with news of the arrest of Nigerians within and outside the country while peddling drugs or acting as drug mules. While there have been issues of wrongful convictions of arrested drug peddlers and recirculating old pictures of arrested drug mules, the researcher deemed it fit fact-check if the claim was made by the Facebook user.
In other to validate the authenticity of the image, a Google reverse image search was carried out. The search result revealed that the photo has been online since 2019.
A Cambodia News English report that the police force of Dangkor District seized over 20 kilograms of narcotics (methamphetamine) and detained three Nigerian men in Stung Mean Chey 2 Khan Mean Chey, Phnom Penh at 20:00 on the 28th of July, 2019.
After detaining the three suspects, the police sent the case to the Phnom Penh Municipal Court to proceed with the proceedings. The report does not mention the “death penalty” or any sentence for the offense.
The names of the three suspects arrested are MADUKA JONAS CHIBUDO, Male, 35 years old; OCIESIE CHIKA ODINAKA CHIEMERIE, Male, 25 years old; and DAVIS CANKWDO, Male, 30 years old.
Is there a death penalty for drug offenses in Cambodia?
According to a report published by America addiction Centres on “20 countries with the harshest drug laws in the world,” United States drug laws are often considered harsh but the penalties for carrying or trafficking drugs in Central America, South America, and Southeast Asia is much more severe.
The report states that you can be sentenced to many years in prison or even life in prison for possessing drugs in Cambodia. Unlike many other South Asian countries, Cambodia does not mandate the death penalty for drug trafficking.
The claim that Three Nigerians Arrested for Trafficking Drugs in Cambodia have been Sentenced to Death is FALSE.