Search

Search form

Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Thai ‘smuggler’ tried

Thai ‘smuggler’ tried

Thai national Preadaporn Bucha, 36, who allegedly smuggled 10 kilograms of cocaine to Cambodia last year, exits Phnom Penh’s Municipal Court
Thai national Preadaporn Bucha, 36, who allegedly smuggled 10 kilograms of cocaine to Cambodia last year, exits Phnom Penh’s Municipal Court. HONG MENEA

Thai ‘smuggler’ tried

A Thai woman who claims she was only trying to meet her Facebook boyfriend now faces life imprisonment in Cambodia for drug smuggling.

Preedaporn Bucha, 36, was tried by the Phnom Penh Municipal Court yesterday for “keeping, transporting and trafficking” 13 kilograms of cocaine through the Phnom Penh International Airport in August 2012.

“She smuggled the drugs from Brazil to Cambodia, and her destination was to bring it into Thailand via a transfer in Cambodia,” said Judge Heng Sok Na.

According to the police investigation, after meeting a Brazilian man named Nick on Facebook, Preedaporn searched for a way to meet her long-distance lover. A Thai woman named Kung offered an easy solution: She would buy Preedaporn’s round-trip airfare and give her $1,000 if only she would fetch a suitcase belonging to Kung from a man named Kevin in Brazil.

Colonel Yeng Bunna, chief of the Anti-Drug Police Office, said on a stopover during the return flight from Brazil, police detained Preedaporn and searched her bags, finding 10 packages of cocaine.

While awaiting charges in a Cambodian prison, she discovered she was pregnant, and gave birth in jail.

During her trial yesterday, Preedaporn denied her involvement in drug trafficking.

“I confess that I was the owner of this luggage. It was sent with me by a … person named Kevin from Brazil to a Thai woman named Kung living in Bangkok. But I did not know that there were drugs hiding inside it,” she told the court.

Preedaporn was one of several drug runners caught last August trying to smuggle substances from Brazil to Thailand. However, Yung Phanith, Preedaporn’s defence lawyer, said his client was the only unsuspecting person used by the traffickers.

“My client did not know in advance and had no willingness to smuggle these drugs,” he said. “Therefore, I would like to ask the court to reduce or suspend her sentence and allow her to return to her country.”
Preedaporn’s verdict will be delivered in court October 16.

RECOMMENDED STORIES

  • Breaking: PM says prominent human rights NGO ‘must close’

    Prime Minister Hun Sen has instructed the Interior Ministry to investigate the Cambodian Center for Human Rights (CCHR) and potentially close it “because they follow foreigners”, appearing to link the rights group to the opposition Cambodia National Rescue Party's purported “revolution”. The CNRP - the

  • PM warns party of complacency in leaked audio

    Two leaked audio tapes, purportedly of Prime Minister Hun Sen speaking candidly to senior officials, appear to hint at insecurities within the ruling party over the controversial dissolution of the country’s main opposition, with the premier warning that the party’s “struggle” didn’t

  • Government approves plan to relocate Phnom Penh’s airport

    The government has signed off on a proposal to build a new airport to serve Phnom Penh and has earmarked land in Kandal province for the $1.5 billion project. A new international airport to replace the existing Phnom Penh International Airport will be constructed on partially

  • Music festival promises big stage, has even bigger hopes

    With a line-up of local and international artists, and a massive outdoor venue booked on Koh Pich, or Diamond Island, Saturday’s Diamond Moon Festival is aiming to showcase contemporary musical and artistic talents at a scale rarely seen in the Kingdom. [img] But the