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Nigerian man gets 1 year in jail for possessing 9 gms cocaine

Cocaine (1)

New Delhi: A 34-year-old Nigerian national has been sentenced to one year in jail for possessing nine grams of cocaine and living illegally in India on fake visa and passport by a Delhi court which took a lenient view towards him considering his young age.

Special NDPS Judge Shail Jain handed down the sentence to Richard, who was residing in Tilak Nagar here, with a direction that after he serves his jail term, he be handed over to the Foreigners Regional Registration Office (FRRO) authorities for the purposes of deportation.

“Keeping in view the facts and circumstances of this case and young age of convict, the lenient view is taken,” the judge said.

While convicting him, the court relied on the testimonies of police officials and said that non-joining of public witnesses was “not fatal to the case”.

“The recovery of contraband is clearly established from accused and being a Nigerian national he was found in India without legal documents and his passport and visa are fake,” the judge said.

“The non-joining of public witnesses is not fatal to the case as otherwise the case is proved by way of consistent and cogent evidence.

“On examining the facts of the case as well as evidence of prosecution witnesses and the documents, this court is of the opinion that there is no reason to discredit the convincing testimony of prosecution witnesses,” the court said.

The court convicted Richard of offences under provisions of the Narcotics Drugs and Psychotropic Substances (NDPS) Act,  the Foreigners Act and section 474 (intending to use forged document as genuine) of the IPC.

According to the prosecution, on May 8, 2014, when three police constables were on duty of checking vehicles, Richard came towards police picket from Outer Ring Road but on seeing the cops he tried to escape.

He was chased and arrested by the police and he was found possessing nine grams of cocaine, it said, adding that the passport recovered from him had an expiry date of 2013 and he had entered India with forged passport and visa.

During the trial, Richard had pleaded not guilty and claimed he was falsely implicated.

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