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Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Australian heroin bust nets two Cambodians

Australian heroin bust nets two Cambodians

Two Cambodian men faced court in Australia yesterday accused of importing 65 kilograms of a substance containing heroin from Cambodia.

The two men, living in different suburbs of Sydney, were arrested on Friday after authorities found a suspicious package containing herbal hair dye sachets at a Sydney mail facility on April 7, a joint statement from Australian Federal Police and customs officials said.

“The officers located a substance within a quantity of sachets labelled as herbal hair dye,” the statement says. “Initial testing of the substance indicated the presence of heroin  ... the total quantity of substance seized in this consignment is estimated at 13 kilograms.”

The package, bound for Melbourne, had been sent by air mail from Cambodia.

Customs officers intercepted a second consignment of hair-dye sachets from the Kingdom the next day, seizing an additional 39 kilograms of the same substance, the statement says.

Police then raided houses in Melbourne and Sydney, where they found 13 kilograms of a similar substance containing heroin.

Australian newspaper the Herald Sun named the suspects, both in their 30s, as Cambodians Sambath Sok and Chhodaphea Kev.

They appeared in Melbourne Magistrates Court yesterday charged with importing, possessing and attempting to possess heroin.

The men, who face life in prison if found guilty, made no application for bail and will face court again on July 6, the Herald Sun reported.

Kieu Saman, director of the Ministry of Interior’s anti-drug department and secretary-general of the National Authority for Combating Drugs, welcomed the arrests, though said he did not know the details of the case.

“Cambodian anti-drug police have not yet received information about the arrest of these two Cambodian suspects in Australia. However, we appreciate the Australian police’s hard work in arresting them,” he said yesterday.

Cambodian police are willing to cooperate with Australian police in smashing networks in Cambodia connected to the drug haul, Kieu Saman said.

To contact the reporter on this story: Buth Reaksmey Kongkea at buthreaksmey.kongkea@phnompenhpost.com
Shane Worrell at shane.worrell@phnompenhpost.com

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