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Cocaine bust: Russian tourist gets 28 years

Cocaine bust: Russian tourist gets 28 years

The Phnom Penh Municipal Court sentenced a Russian tourist to 28 years yesterday for smuggling some five kilograms of liquefied cocaine into Cambodia from Brazil last year.

According to presiding judge Ly Sok Leng, defendant Elizaveta Maximova, 28, was charged with drug trafficking after being arrested with the cocaine at Phnom Penh International Airport in April 2014.

“The court decided to sentence her to 28 years and a fine: 50 million riel (about $12,500) to put in the national budget,” judge Sok Leng said yesterday.

Police official Lieutenant Colonel Chab Sameng said the 4.96 kilos of liquid cocaine were concealed in plastic-wrapped bottles.

Maximova declined to comment to reporters yesterday, but during her trial on March 22, she maintained her innocence, saying the cocaine belonged to her boyfriend – a Nigerian she identified as “Joe” – and that she was unaware it was in her luggage.

“I did not know that Joe’s things were liquid drugs, and were illegal things. If I have known it, I would not bring it with me or be involved with it,” she said.

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