A Ghanaian soccer player's dream of joining a professional US team turned into a nightmare when his agent instead handed him over to drug traffickers in Brazil, a court heard yesterday. John Asante, 22, who denies trafficking 794 grams of cocaine, said one of the gangsters put a gun to his head and ordered him to swallow 52 packets of the drug. At first Asante, who was lured to South America with promises of a professional soccer career, refused. 'I told him that if I swallowed, it might get hooked up in my intestines and kill me,' he told the Court of First Instance. '[The gangsters] said they didn't want me alive anyway. All they wanted was to kill me,' Asante said. Asante claimed he was told to choose between swallowing 'the cocaine bundles or bullets'. 'I heard a clicking noise coming out of the gun,' he said. 'Then I started shouting, 'Please wait! I'll do it'.' He tried to choke back the plastic-wrapped wads of powder, but at first they stuck in his throat, Asante said under questioning by defence barrister John Wright. 'I don't know how I swallowed them. I was vomiting blood,' he said. After several hours Asante had ingested almost 800 grams of cocaine and was placed on a flight to Hong Kong. On September 14 last year, the Ghanaian flew into Kai Tak from Sao Paulo, Brazil, using a Canadian passport which identified him as Alfred Hall Brain. The drug stash was discovered after Asante developed abdominal cramps in front of Customs officers, the court heard. While in custody, he passed 52 pellets of cocaine. Two smaller packets of cocaine were found inside his shoes and another was discovered in a tube of toothpaste. Asante said a man named Kingsley Addo, who had posed as an agent, took him to South America and said he would eventually join a professional team in the US. The trial continues before Mr Justice Mohammed Saied.