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Ethiopian Teenager faces life imprisonment for drug trafficking

Ethiopian Teenager faces life imprisonment for drug trafficking

A 17-year-old Ethiopian teenager has become the latest suspect caught with cocaine worth USD 400,000 and he is set to face life imprisonment in Hong Kong. He became the latest of many nationals who use Addis Ababa as a hub to transport the illegal substance.

The alleged act involved the 2.8 kilo of cocaine being hidden in wooden items inside cargo consignment that left Addis Ababa earlier this week.

There has been a growing interest from drug lords, notably from West African nations such as Nigeria who use drug moles, taking advantage of their lack of exposure and poverty and ended up being caught with little diplomatic pressure and legal representation from their home nations.

Most of these moles are said to be, in addition to African states, from Latin America.

Last year, a Greek model was found not guilty after persistent pressure from her country and supporters as she faced drug trafficking charges and despite evidence that showed she was accomplice to it she was released, a very unlikely fate for most. She stood accused of using a hidden pocket inside her backpack to try to hide the cocaine.

She was accused of transporting 2.5 kilos of cocaine, as she flew from Addis Ababa.

The young man has been charged with one count of trafficking drugs and appeared at West Kowloon Magistrates Courts on Wednesday, according to local media reports.

While Hong Kong does not have the death penalty as punishment, China, which practices it has charged a number of Ethiopians, including a now 29 years old engineer, Nazrawit Abera, whose family and friends say she was framed and stilk faces capital punishment.

With a close China and African relationship built on economic integration, many African states have remained mute to the plight of these people.

Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed briefly advocated for Nazrawit last year, but he has also remained silent as both nations, China and Ethiopia boost their growing bilateral relationship and the latter becomes dependent on the strength of the East Asian nation who sees such interference contrary to its internal matter.