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Defendant in big coke bust ‘didn’t know’

Defendant in big coke bust ‘didn’t know’

The Phnom Penh Municipal Court yesterday heard the case of a Thai woman arrested last August for allegedly attempting to smuggle roughly 13 kilograms of cocaine through customs at the Phnom Penh International Airport.

Presiding judge and court vice-president Sin Visal said that Thai national Rodsiri Rungtiva, 25, had been charged with transporting illegal drug elements and drug trafficking – charges Rodsiri contested in court, saying the package had belonged to someone else, and that she hadn’t known it contained drugs.

“She illegally brought the drugs from Brazil to Cambodia via the Phnom Penh International Airport in order to transfer them to Thailand,” said Visal.  

According to Khieu Saman, chief of the Anti-Drug Police Department at the Ministry of Interior, police had been tipped off to Rodsiri by a report from Thai anti-drug agents.

During the hearing, Rodsiri pleaded ignorance and asked the court to drop the charges, saying that she had been asked by a stranger at the airport in Brazil to take a package to a friend in Thailand.

“He promised to pay me $3,000 to bring something from Brazil to Thailand; I did not know that it was drugs,” she said. “If I had known that, I wouldn’t have done it.”  

The court will render a verdict on April 9.

To contact the reporter on this story: Buth Reaksmey Kongkea at [email protected]