Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Nabbed smuggler links to international drug ring

Nabbed smuggler links to international drug ring

Nabbed smuggler links to international drug ring

A Filipino was arrested in Siem Reap on Friday over Wednesday’s seizure of more than three kilograms of methamphetamines at the city’s airport.

Police swooped down on the Angkor Touch Hotel at about 12:30pm on Friday, detaining Bertumen Edgar Celocial, 39, Siem Reap provincial police’s anti-drug department chief Nuon Sophanny said yesterday.

“This man was a member of an international trafficking network which is hiding out in Thailand,” Sophanny said.

“He has entered from Thailand via the Poipet international checkpoint and travelled to Siem Reap to receive drugs sent from Kenya by Thai woman Kotatan Miss Napaphon.”

Naphaphon, 29, was arrested at Siem Reap International Airport on Wednesday after customs police allegedly found 3.4 kilograms of methamphetamine powder in her checked baggage.

The Thai woman was arrested less than an hour after Vietnamese woman Phan Thi Thanh Hang, 19, was detained for allegedly smuggling about two kilograms of the same substance, also from Kenya, through Phnom Penh International Airport.

The drugs seized took the amount of methamphetamines and cocaine intercepted at the two international airports since August 7 to more than 40 kilograms.

Sophanny said information divulged by Napaphon had led police to Celocial.

“We believe he was the owner of the drugs seized at Siem Reap airport,” Sophanny said.

Both Celocial and Napaphon were charged in the provincial court on Saturday with possessing and trafficking drugs.

Nine people, including seven Thai women, have been arrested over seven major drug busts in the past fortnight.

According to Major General Khieu Saman, director of the anti-drug department, more arrests could be on the way.

“The arrests have been an enormous success for police,” he said. “We now are working hard with Thai police and other foreign authorities based in Thailand to arrest the leaders of these drug-trafficking networks.

“So far, we have identified the names of some leaders . . . hiding in Bangkok,” he said.

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

MOST VIEWED

  • Temi tourism project approved by the CDC

    The $500.4 million Tourism, Ecological, Marine and International (Temi) tourism project has been approved by the Council for the Development of Cambodia (CDC), according to a notice on its Facebook page on Monday. The project is part of Chinese-owned Union City Development Group Co Ltd’s (

  • Rainsy will return at ‘favourable time’

    Opposition figure Sam Rainsy on Saturday suggested he would not return to Cambodia as he had previously promised, saying that like liberators King Father Norodom Sihanouk and Charles de Gaulle, he would only do so at a “favourable time”. “I will go back to Cambodia

  • US Embassy urged to stop ‘disrespecting sovereignty’

    The Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation called on the US Embassy in Phnom Penh on Saturday to respect the Vienna Convention on Diplomatic Relations after it called former opposition leader Kem Sokha “an innocent man” – a move deemed to be “disrespecting Cambodia’s

  • NagaWorld casino sees net profit of more than $390M last year

    Phnom Penh’s NagaWorld casino posted a 53 per cent net profit increase last year at $390.6 million, a sum which is almost equal to the combined net profit of all Cambodian commercial banks in 2017. NagaWorld’s parent company, NagaCorp Ltd, is listed on the Hong Kong