Over 500 Nigerians jailed in Brazil for drugs - Ambassador

By The Citizen

Nigeria's Ambassador to Brazil, Mr. Vincent Okoedion,  said there are over 500 Nigerians serving jail terms in Brazil for drug peddling and related offences, affirming that many  Nigerians are residing in the country without proper documentation .

Ambassador Okoedion , who disclosed this in an interview in Brasilia while meeting officials of Air Air, who were in the country to secure traffic rights from the Brazilian authorities to commence flights.

He said the high commission will continue to ensure that Nigerians in the country are engaged in legitimate business.

He said, ' We have many Nigerians who are in prison in this country. The numbers of Nigerians who are in prison in this country are about 500, including men and women. it is the group that are actually the main concern of the mission' because we know that prison is not the place where our people should be in Brazil and what more they are the majority of Africans in prison in this country.

'So we visit them in prison especially during the festivals that are observed in this country like Easter and Christmas. We take to them essential items that they need like toiletries mainly. So they are the subject of on going discussions between the mission and the host government.We also hold meetings with the community to let them know that they should be law abiding and that the police would not go after them if they obey the law of the land. It is only when the police see them engaging in illegal activities that the police will harass them. And then we also know that we have to a credible community leadership or association. That way, it makes it easier for us to deal with them as a group. So we can work them through their leaders. So right now we are trying to organise elections both for Nigerians as a community and Nigerians in Diaspora Organisation .'