Search

Search form

Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Venezuelan busted at airport for coke haul

Venezuelan busted at airport for coke haul

Almost 2 kilograms of cocaine were seized by anti-drug officials at Phnom Penh International Airport leading to an arrest on Monday. Photo supplied
Almost 2 kilograms of cocaine were seized by anti-drug officials at Phnom Penh International Airport leading to an arrest on Monday. Photo supplied

Venezuelan busted at airport for coke haul

A 27-year-old Venezuelan woman was arrested at Phnom Penh International Airport on Monday for allegedly smuggling nearly 2 kilograms of cocaine, immigration officials said.

According to immigration department spokesman Kerm Sarin, immigration police at the airport cooperated with customs officials to make the arrest, with the suspect later sent to the anti-drug trafficking department after initial questioning.

Suspect Neilin Coromoto Mejias allegedly received the cocaine in Sao Paulo, Brazil, then smuggled it to Ethiopia, before transporting it to Bangkok. She then flew to Phnom Penh, where she was allegedly planning to travel to Siem Reap by car, according to the police.

The police apprehended 1.79 kilograms of cocaine hidden in about 100 pin-on buttons.

Sarin said that this was “the first case at an airport in Cambodia in 2017 that we could arrest a suspect”, and added that Mejias did not reside in Cambodia.

Khieu Saman, director of the anti-drug trafficking department, confirmed that the suspect was temporarily detained at his department. “We are looking to find the big dealers,” he said, declining to provide further details.

An airport police officer, who spoke on condition of anonymity, said that “we saw her travelling destination was irregular. She was a suspect because she flew from some countries that are known to have problems with drugs. We were also suspicious of her – why would she bring so many buttons?”

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

  • 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

  • American convicted of raping boy, 10, in Siem Reap

    A 79-year-old American man was sentenced to one year in prison for raping a 10-year-old boy by Siem Reap Provincial Court on Wednesday. John Paul Zollbrecht, of Washington state, was sentenced to one year in prison while a Cambodian man who helped facilitate the abuse, 23

  • PM derides talk of government affairs, hinting phone records could reveal all

    Prime Minister Hun Sen on Sunday night told Cambodia’s starlets to either name their high-profile government lovers or keep quiet, telling a room full of journalists he did not want to be tarred with the same brush. Addressing more than 3,400 people at the second