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43-Yr-Old Nigerian Who Was Arrested At UK Airport With Cocaine ‘Worth £80k’ Bags 4-Yr Jail Term

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Benjamin Nwaogwugwu, identified as a Nigerian living in the United Kingdom (UK), has been jailed after he was arrested by the police at Manchester airport for swallowing cocaine “worth £80,000”.

According to Daily Mail, the illicit drug was consumed by Nwaogwugwu, who claimed to have been hired by Colombian drug barons, at a hotel in South America before he flew to Paris and then returned to the UK.

The 43-year-old was said to have pretended to be a Liverpool fan returning to the UK after watching the UEFA Champions League final, which held on May 28, 2022, in Paris, when police saw him grimacing in pain at the airport.

It took two days for him to pass out the drugs from his bowels, and after analysis, it was discovered that the cocaine has a “purity of up to 89%” after an examination was done on 19 packages.

According to the report, Nwaogwugwu, said to be married with three children, said some persons threatened to harm his family members in Nigeria if he didn’t transport the drugs.

“The defendant was told if he did not do this, he and his family would be harmed and was threatened. There was a total of 100 packages but the defendant could only swallow 79 and was vomiting blood so had to stop. He was taken to the airport and flown back to France, then onto Manchester,” a statement detailing his plea reads.

“The defendant was under significant pressure to commit this offence but accepts this was not duress. The defendant did not stand to profit financially from this activity.”

He was arrested on June 1, 2022, and jailed for four years and two months after he pleaded guilty to cocaine importation.

Tina Landale, the presiding judge, reportedly said despite Nwaogwugwu’s “clean” record, measures must be taken to “prevent criminals from taking on these types of crimes”.

“You became involved in an enterprise where you attempted to bring cocaine into Manchester,” the judge was quoted as saying.

“You cooperated with it and then you tried to lie your way out of it. Drug smuggling is a vile, vile trade and it’s clear that these criminals prey on the vulnerable and you were exploited.

“Up to now, you had been making a positive contribution to the community and it is clear you are a man of good character and that you care for your family. However, this is an extremely serious offence and there must be a deterrence to prevent criminals from taking on these types of crimes.”

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JUST IN: 31-Yr-Old Belgium Star, Eden Hazard Quits International Football

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Belgium star Eden Hazard announced his retirement from international football on Wednesday, days after the team crashed out of the World Cup in the group stage.

The Real Madrid forward, 31, made the announcement on social media, saying “a page turns today”.

“Thank you for your unparalleled support,” he posted on Instagram.

“Thank you for all this happiness shared since 2008. I have decided to put an end to my international career.

“The succession is ready. I will miss you.”

Hazard was the standard-bearer of Belgium’s much-vaunted “golden generation”, which reached the semi-finals at the 2018 World Cup in Russia.

The ageing team failed to make it past the first round in Qatar, finishing third in Group F behind Morocco and Croatia.

 

Credit: AFP

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Post-COVID Protest: China Loosens Strict Restrictions 2-Yrs After Pandemic

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China announced Wednesday a nationwide loosening of Covid restrictions following protests against the hardline strategy that grew into calls for greater political freedoms.

Anger over China’s zero-Covid policy, which involved mass lockdowns, constant testing and quarantines even for people who are not infected, stoked unrest not seen since the 1989 pro-democracy protests.

Under the new guidelines announced by the National Health Commission, the frequency and scope of PCR testing — long a tedious mainstay of life in zero-Covid China — will be reduced.

Lockdowns will also be scaled down and people with non-severe Covid cases can isolate at home instead of centralised government facilities.

And people will no longer be required to show a green health code on their phone to enter public buildings and spaces, except for “nursing homes, medical institutions, kindergartens, middle and high schools.”

The new rules scrap the forced quarantines for people with no symptoms or with mild cases.

“Asymptomatic infected persons and mild cases who are eligible for home isolation are generally isolated at home, or they can voluntarily choose centralised isolation for treatment,” the new rules read.

“Mass PCR testing only carried out in schools, hospitals, nursing homes and high-risk work units; scope and frequency of PCR testing to be further reduced,” they added.

“People travelling across provinces do not need to provide a 48h test result and do not need to test upon arrival.”

China will also accelerate the vaccination of the elderly, the NHC said, long seen as a major obstacle to the relaxation of Beijing’s no-tolerance approach to Covid.

Rare demonstrations against the ruling Communist Party’s zero-Covid strategy broke out across China late last month.

They expanded into calls for more political freedoms, with some even calling for President Xi Jinping to resign.

Authorities cracked down on subsequent efforts to protest while easing a number of restrictions, with some Chinese cities tentatively rolling back mass testing and curbs on movement.

The capital Beijing, where many businesses have fully reopened, said this week that commuters were no longer required to show a negative virus test taken within 48 hours to use public transport.

Financial hub Shanghai, which underwent a brutal two-month lockdown this year, announced the same rules, with residents able to enter outdoor venues such as parks and tourist attractions without a recent test.

And once dominated by doom and gloom coverage of the dangers of the virus and scenes of pandemic chaos abroad, China’s tightly controlled media dramatically shifted tone to support a tentative moving away from zero-Covid.

The prevalent Omicron strain is “not at all like last year’s Delta variant,” Guangzhou-based medicine professor Chong Yutian said in an article published by the Communist Party-run China Youth Daily.

“After infection with the Omicron variant, the vast majority will have no or light symptoms, and very few will go on to have severe symptoms, this is already widely known,” he assured readers.

But analysts at Japanese firm Nomura on Monday calculated that 53 cities — home to nearly a third of China’s population — still had some restrictions in place.

Wednesday’s announcement came hours after the government released further data showing the crippling economic impacts of zero-Covid.

Imports and exports plunged in November to levels not seen since early 2020.

Imports in November fell 10.6 percent year-on-year, the biggest drop since May 2020, according to the General Administration of Customs. Exports fell 8.7 percent over the same period.

 

Credit: AFP

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19-Yr-Old Endurance Arrested After Defrauding A British Lady Of £450K And Using The Money To Buy Cars, Gold Chains, Others

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A 19-year-old  man, Iredia Endurance has been arrested by the operatives of Benin Zonal Command of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, for alleged fraud.

According to a statement released by Wilson Uwujaren, spokesperson of the anti-graft agencym says Endurance was recently arrested by the Commission following a petition by one Chrstine Brown, a British citizen, alleging that the suspect defrauded her of £450,000.00.

“Upon arrest, the suspect confessed he received £250,000.00 from the complainant in Bitcoin, FedEx and gift cards. On what he did with the money, the suspect averred that they were expanded on cars, gold chains, and landed properties, among others.

Some of the items recovered from the suspect include mobile  phones, laptops, sim cards and landed property.” He added that the suspect will be charged to court as soon as investigations are concluded.

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