Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Suspects finger ‘Candy’ man

Suspects finger ‘Candy’ man

Suspects finger ‘Candy’ man

6 Varangkana Phomdee

Two Thai women charged with smuggling more than three kilograms of cocaine into the country yesterday denied the charges leveled against them and told the Phnom Penh Municipal Court they were unwitting drug mules.

The women – Varangkana Phomdee, 29, and Tangboo Ketkarn, 31 – are being charged with drug trafficking under Cambodia’s Anti-Drug Law for smuggling the drugs into the country from Ecuador last August, said presiding judge Sous Sam Ath.

“Varangkana Phomdee was arrested by anti-drug police forces at Phnom Penh International Airport,” said Sam Ath, adding that her luggage contained six packages of cocaine.

Sam Ath said Tangboo was later arrested based on the testimony of Varangkana, obtained during a police interrogation.

During their court hearing yesterday, the women said they were hired by a Nigerian man named “Candy” living in Thailand.

Varangkana said she was paid $3,000 by Candy to bring the drugs from Ecuador to Cambodia; Candy also made all her travel arrangements.

“I was not the owner of these drugs, they belong to Mr Candy, who is now in Bangkok,” she said. “I didn’t know what I was carrying was drugs.”

Tangboo then told the court she was paid $2,000 to transport the goods from Cambodia into Thailand. She had travelled across the border to pick up the suitcase from Varangkana.

“I am not a drug trafficker or have any relation to do with the drugs seized,” Tangboo said. “I would like to ask the court to release me.”

But Ly Sophana, vice prosecutor at the municipal court, urged the court to maintain the charges and punish the suspects according to the law.

The verdict will be handed down June 21.

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

  • 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

  • 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