BanderasNews
Puerto Vallarta Weather Report
Welcome to Puerto Vallarta's liveliest website!
Contact UsSearch
Why Vallarta?Vallarta WeddingsRestaurantsWeatherPhoto GalleriesToday's EventsMaps
 NEWS/HOME
 AROUND THE BAY
 AROUND THE REPUBLIC
 AMERICAS & BEYOND
 BUSINESS NEWS
 TECHNOLOGY NEWS
 WEIRD NEWS
 EDITORIALS
 ENTERTAINMENT
 VALLARTA LIVING
 PV REAL ESTATE
 TRAVEL / OUTDOORS
 HEALTH / BEAUTY
 SPORTS
 DAZED & CONFUSED
 PHOTOGRAPHY
 CLASSIFIEDS
 READERS CORNER
 BANDERAS NEWS TEAM
Sign up NOW!

Free Newsletter!
Puerto Vallarta News NetworkAmericas & Beyond 

Soup Mistaken for Drugs, Man Detained in Mexico
email this pageprint this pageemail usRaquel Maria Dillon - Associated Press
go to original
March 25, 2010



Los Angeles A Nigerian-born U.S. citizen says he spent two days in a Tijuana jail after Mexican authorities mistook the soup ingredients he was bringing to a relative in Mexico for illegal drugs.

San Diego social worker Okoronkwo Umeham, 73, said he was detained while crossing the border from San Diego to Tijuana on March 15 because inspectors thought he had five bags of khat, a stimulant popular in East Africa.

Umeham said he was bringing dried fish, vegetables and spices ingredients for "ugu," a spicy Nigerian soup to a younger relative, Xavier Nnanna Nwafor, who lives in Tijuana.

Umeham took the same ingredients to Nnanna last September without incident and turned them over to inspectors this time without imagining they looked the least bit suspicious, his wife Gail Umeham said Wednesday.

The Mexican inspectors asked if the labeled packages contained marijuana, and Umeham said no. He didn't speak Spanish and couldn't explain what they were.

He said Mexican authorities put him in jail, telling him they needed to test the suspicious materials.

Javier Cossio, the head of the federal attorney general's office in Tijuana, confirmed Umeham's arrest. Cossio told the San Diego Union-Tribune that contents of the bags that Umeham was carrying had to be tested and that Umeham had to be checked for drug use. Authorities concluded "he was not carrying any drugs." He said Umeham also did not test positive for any drug.

He was released after two days but his wife said he was humiliated by the experience. "It would have been nice if someone had said sorry," she said.




In accordance with Title 17 U.S.C. Section 107, this material is distributed without profit to those who have expressed a prior interest in receiving
the included information for research and educational purposes m3 © 2009 BanderasNews ® all rights reserved carpe aestus