Seven Nigerians have been sentenced to 105 years in prison by a magistrate court in South Africa having been convicted of drug dealing.
This was disclosed in a statement by the South African Police Service on Monday, asserting that the suspects, arrested in October 2014, were found to be guilty of all charges by the Benoni Magistrates Court on 12 October 2016.
The suspects – Valentine Chigbo Okoye (36), Patrick Chime Uche (38), Chucks Ugo Thomas (37), Emeka Azodo (40), Chinaemelum Uba (24), and Chucku Imeka Ekwemozok (34) – were arrested for packaging heroine worth an estimated value of R214 000 ($16400) into small wrappings for distribution in Crystalpark Benoni.
According to the SA Police, the Nigerians were nabbed by members of Hawks’ Serious Organised Crime after a tip-off, and they’d been denied bail on several occasions as they were considered flight risks.
They were each sentenced to an effective fifteen (15) years without an option of any fine, making it a total sentence of (105) years.
The Gauteng Head of the Directorate for Priority Crime Investigation Major General Prince Mokotedi welcomed the sentence and praised the police for their efforts.
“This is indeed a welcomed precedent set by our courts and this will help our efforts to combat drug trafficking a great deal. We are proud of our team’s efforts in ensuring a successful prosecution in this matter. Such convictions will motivate our members to work even harder. From now on, drug dealers will feel the full might of the law, we are more determined to fight this scourge,”