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Women in court over meth haul at airport

5 Pinw Jansod Utsatee Hollaus Nanthitya

Phnom Penh Municipal Court yesterday heard the case of two Thai women charged with drug trafficking, after one was allegedly caught with close to five kilograms of methamphetamine powder at Phnom Penh International Airport in August last year.

Presiding judge Suos Sam Ath said that Thai nationals Pinwjansod Utsatee, 21, and Hollaus Nathitya, 28, were charged with the possession, transportation and trafficking of illegal drugs, which carries a penalty of up to 20 years in prison.

Anti-drug police and customs officers arrested Utsatee at the airport on August 13 last year after she arrived from Ghana, while Nathitya was arrested on the same day in a Tuol Kork hotel where she was waiting to receive the drugs, the judge said.

“Pinwjansod Utsatee has smuggled drugs from Ghana. Her destination was Thailand via Cambodia. She was arrested after going through immigration and collecting her luggage,” he told the court.

Captain Sin Sophal, deputy chief of the anti-drug police office at the Ministry of Interior, said that according to a police investigation, the two women were members of a drug trafficking network based out of Thailand.

The women denied the charges in court yesterday.

Utsatee said that in early August last year, she had accompanied her Ghanaian husband to visit his parents in Ghana.

Before returning alone, her husband’s friend asked her to deliver a package to an unidentified person in Cambodia, she told the court.

“I had checked there were no drugs or any illegal materials in his package . . . I would not risk death [by travelling] with these drugs,” she said.

Nathitya said her Nigerian husband asked her to come to Phnom Penh from Thailand to receive a package, that she did not know contained drugs, from his friend in Ghana.

Their verdict will be handed down on May 31.

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