Nigerian Sentenced to Life in Chinese Prison for Smuggling Cocaine in Beijing

Nigerian Sentenced to Life in Chinese Prison for Smuggling Cocaine in Beijing
Mar 29, 2016 Translated by

Editor's Note: In early 2015, the Ministry of Public Security announced that the police had arrested 60,500 drug-related offenders in a sweeping 6-month crackdown. The number of arrests has increased recently with a widely reported raid in Shenzhen and the uncovering of a drug production ring in Naning last month. Even though 77% of the drugs consumed in China are made domestically, couriers are still smuggling them across borders. Despite severe penalties for drug-related offenses, suppliers are willing to risk life in prison, or their lives, for China's growing demand for methamphetamines, cocaine and ketamine. The translated article reports on one smuggler who was stopped and arrested at Beijing customs.

 A Nigerian man has been sentenced to life in prison in China after he was caught attempting to smuggle nearly 1,400 grams of cocaine into the country. Daniel (pseudonym) was stopped at airport customs. After examination, customs staff found that he had swallowed 70 capsules filed with cocaine to try to smuggle them into China. Daniel claimed that he had been forced to swallow the capsules at gunpoint in Nigeria, but his story lacked evidence. A Chinese court sentenced Daniel to life in prison for smuggling drugs and his personal property was confiscated by the state.

Suspicious Man Stopped by Customs

On May 1, 2015, Daniel was stopped at airport customs in Beijing after arriving on a flight from Dubai. He carried one small bag and walked through the “nothing to declare,” customs channel. Airport staff took note—generally passengers arriving from Dubai carry large amounts of luggage. Customs staff pulled Daniel aside and asked to see his passport. When he was asked by officials why he had come to China, Daniel said that he planned to start his trip in Beijing and then travel to Guangzhou to buy clothes. However, the inspector found that he did not have a ticket to Guangzhou.

Daniel then tried to change his story, and seemed very nervous. The inspector decided to keep Daniel for further questioning and examination. Daniel’s lack of luggage was especially suspicious to the customs inspector.

“A Special Nigerian Food”

Customs staff ran X-rays on Daniel and found a significant number of non-food particles in his upper abdomen. The inspectors suspected that he had swallowed capsules of illegal drugs. Daniel claimed that the pills were a special Nigerian food that looked like capsules.

Daniel was taken to a nearby hospital for a CT scan. Doctors at the hospital confirmed that the capsules were those used to smuggle illegal drugs. Daniel refused to talk. At 1:00 am on May 2, Daniel finally confessed that he had swallowed capsules filled with illegal drugs in Nigeria.

In the course of the next few hours, Daniel discharged 28 capsules. He was then sent to the Beijing Red Cross Emergency Rescue Center where he discharged 42 more capsules. The capsules were densely wrapped in layers of tape and filled with cocaine. In total, he had swallowed 1,393.83 grams of the illegal drug.

Forced to Swallow Capsules?

Caught with the drugs, Daniel could no longer deny that he had attempted to traffic them. He told Chinese officials that he had been forced to swallow the drugs at gunpoint in Nigeria on April 30 by a childhood friend. “If I did not swallow them, I would have been killed,” he said. Then his friend drove him to the airport and bought him a ticket to Dubai. He was given instructions over the phone to drop off the drugs at a Shanghai hotel, but he did not know the name of his contact in China.

Chinese police asked Daniel why he didn’t just confess in the first place when he was caught, and tell the whole story. Daniel said that his childhood friend knows where his family lives and he was worried about their safety if he was caught.

Smuggling cocaine in China is punishable by law. However, Daniel’s drugs were confiscated and not brought into society. Therefore, his punishment was lighter than it would have been if the drugs had been successfully brought into China.

The court rejected Daniel’s argument that he had been coerced into smuggling the drugs into China because of a lack of evidence. Daniel was found guilty of drug smuggling and sentenced to life in prison. All of his personal property was confiscated by the state.

Source: QQ News

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Keywords: drugs smuggle arrest cocaine smuggle arrest


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I am surprised he did not get the death penalty....Usually it is the DP for anyone caught with 50grams or more...And rightly so...Drugs are bad news and i admire china for its tough policy on drugs...i despise drugs and drug dealers especially..I have more respect for vermin than i do drug dealers..

Mar 31, 2016 15:41 Report Abuse



This is perhaps one of the few exceptions where racial profiling actually led to crime prevention.

Mar 29, 2016 08:13 Report Abuse



Nothing to do with the fact he had got off a longhaul flight with no baggage which is odd...only to do with his skin...

Mar 29, 2016 22:03 Report Abuse



he'll be swallowing a lot more than pills in the slammer

Mar 29, 2016 06:40 Report Abuse



he had no luggage, but all his personal property was confiscated by the state...

Mar 29, 2016 06:34 Report Abuse