Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Danish woman extradited

Danish woman extradited

Danish woman extradited

A DANISH woman sentenced to 15 years in prison for mailing thousands of codeine and Valium tablets out of Cambodia last year has been extradited to her native country, a prison official confirmed Sunday.

Johanne Vinther Axelsen was extradited to Denmark March 17, according to Heng Hak, director of the prisons department at the Ministry of Interior.

The move comes 14 months after Phnom Penh Municipal Court sentenced Axelsen, 55, to a lengthy prison term on charges of drug trafficking.

In an interview with the Post last year, Axelsen said she would be allowed to return to Denmark if she paid US$20,000 – a sum she refused, she said, because she did not want “to pay any money to the corrupt court officials, who will use the money to buy a luxury house and car”.

Heng Hak confirmed that Axelsen’s extradition this month came after a cash payment, but he said he did not know the sum.

“We did not release her for free,” Heng Hak said.

“Nobody can release her without a court verdict.”

Court officials could not be reached for comment Sunday.

According to media reports, Axelsen’s extradition was secured after a Danish citizen, Mikkel Hass, agreed to donate US$8,000 in cash.

The Web site scandasia.com quoted him as saying he viewed the payment as a donation.

“I think more Danes should show empathy when other Danes are … suffering under unfair circumstances abroad,” Hass was quoted as saying.

Axelsen was convicted in January after she was caught mailing roughly 10,000 codeine and Valium tablets from Cambodia to the United States and the United Kingdom.

Axelsen told the Post at the time that she did not know it was illegal to mail the tablets. It was her son, she said, who urged her to send the shipment.

Still, she said, she held no animosity towards her son.

“I don’t blame him for anything,” she said. “I was naïve.”

MOST VIEWED

  • US think tank warns of China's 'ulterior motives'

    A US think tank on Tuesday warned that spreading Chinese investment in the Indo-Pacific follows a pattern of leveraging geopolitical influence at the expense of the nations receiving investment, including Cambodia. The report looks at a sample of 15 Chinese port development projects, noting that the

  • More than three tonnes of ivory reportedly bound for Cambodia seized in Mozambique

    A total of 3.5 tonnes of ivory reportedly bound for Cambodia was seized by authorities in Mozambique late last week, according to the NGO Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES). CITES' information was based on a report from the

  • Defence Ministry denies weapons in smuggling case came from Cambodia

    After a Thai national was arrested last week for allegedly smuggling guns from Cambodia to Thailand, Cambodia's Defence Ministry has claimed the weapons seized during the arrest are not used in Cambodia, despite the fact that both types of rifle seized are commonly found in

  • Shipwreck found off coast of Koh Kong

    Royal Cambodian Navy researchers are working to identify a decades-old shipwreck found earlier this month off the coast of Koh Kong province. Divers found the 70-metre-long wreck on April 4 about a mile from Koh Chhlam island, according to Navy officials. Deputy Navy Commander Tea Sokha,