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Russian tried over cocaine allegations

A Russian woman accused of smuggling five kilograms of liquid cocaine from Brazil to Cambodia was tried on Friday morning at Phnom Penh Municipal Court.

Elizaveta Maximova, 28, was arrested last April at Phnom Penh International Airport, over allegations of transnational drug trafficking, according to Ly Sok Leng, the presiding judge. He said she intended to bring the drugs to Thailand. Police seized bottles of liquid cocaine concealed in black plastic inside her luggage, according to Lieutenant Colonel Chab Sameng, deputy director of the anti-drug police unit.

During her trial, Maximova denied her alleged involvement in the crime, though she acknowledged that the luggage belonged to her.

She claimed the drugs were her boyfriend’s, a Nigerian man living in Brazil identified as “Joe”, who asked her to bring a package to his friend in Phnom Penh.

“I did not know Joe’s [package] was drugs or was illegal. If I had known, I would not have brought them with me or been involved,” she said, adding: “I would like to ask the court to release me.”

The court will deliver a verdict on March 30.



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