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Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Denial, admission as court hears drug case

Denial, admission as court hears drug case

Denial, admission as court hears drug case

The trial of two foreign nationals accused of smuggling 2.9 kilograms of cocaine into the Kingdom for an international drug-trafficking ring began in the capital.

Corro Zuzunaga Enrique Bruno, 54, a Peruvian citizen, and Promkhot Phattarawadee, 31, a Thai national, are on trial for drug trafficking under Article 40 of Cambodia’s Anti-Drug Law.

“Corro Zuzunaga Enrique Bruno brought the cocaine from Venezuela through the Singapore airport en route to Phnom Penh,” municipal court judge Kor Vandy said during the trial.

Vandy added that Bruno had been picked up by police after arriving at Phnom Penh International Airport on May 7, carrying 10 metal tubes filled with cocaine.

Taking the stand, Bruno admitted receiving $4,000 from an unidentified man in Venezuela to deliver the drugs to an anonymous woman in Phnom Penh.

“This is my fourth time delivering drugs from Venezuela to Cambodia. The reason why I did this is because my family is very poor and has no money,” Bruno said, adding that his 83-year-old mother was ill in Peru and he could not afford to cover her treatment.

“I would like to ask the court to reduce my sentence so I can return to my country and take care of my elderly and sick mother and children.”

Promkhot was arrested two days later at Lucky Guesthouse in Tuol Kork district after anti-drug police had Bruno call his employer in Thailand to arrange the delivery of the drugs.

Both suspects are cogs in an international drug-trafficking ring, Colonel Yeng Bunna, chief of the Anti-Drug Police Office, said.

“They were hired by a group of drug traffickers operating in Thailand and Venezuela. The [suspects] planned to import the cocaine from Venezuela to Thailand by transferring it through the Cambodian-Thai border,” Bunna said.

Promkhot flatly denied the accusations lodged against her during the trial yesterday, claiming she was unable to even identify the drug in question.

Verdicts are due on December 26.

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