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Refugee faces extradition for alleged ecstasy trafficking

By Michael Mui, 24 Hours Vancouver

Ecstasy pills (FILE PHOTO)

Ecstasy pills (FILE PHOTO)

A Sudanese refugee living in Canada has lost his fight against extradition to the United States after he was accused of helping deliver 149,000 MDMA pills to California.

Acram Adam is wanted by the U.S. government for conspiracy to traffic ecstasy, according to a B.C. Court of Appeal decision Wednesday.

Following a Drug Enforcement Administration investigation, Adam was alleged to have sent a relative to exchange drugs with a police informant who had promised to trade 18 kilograms of cocaine for the MDMA.

The exchange went down in 2008, according to the court, when the relative, another man and the informant met in a parking lot and handed the drugs over.

They were supposed to pick up the cocaine at a hotel — part of the DEA sting — but the San Mateo County Sheriff’s Department stopped them before they could get there.

“A person accused of international crime has no right to choose the venue in which they are tried,” Justice Elizabeth Bennett wrote.

“Any charge in Canada would not reflect the seriousness of the importation and distribution of 149,000 MDMA pills in that country.”

The B.C. Supreme Court earlier decided his extradition could go ahead, but Adam appealed since authorities had initially assumed he was a Canadian citizen, pleading that he would lose his permanent residency upon conviction and be returned to Sudan.

According to the court, Adam came to Canada with his parents as a child under Convention refugee status — which means he was fleeing persecution.

It has since been decided he would be allowed to return to Canada even if convicted in the U.S.




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