Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Three kilos of meth seized in airport bust

Three kilos of meth seized in airport bust

Three kilos of meth seized in airport bust

An Indian woman is being held in Siem Reap’s provincial prison after police arrested her while allegedly attempting to smuggle more than three kilograms of methamphetamine through Siem Reap International Airport.

Judith Pudaite, 30, was charged in Siem Reap Provincial Court on Friday with keeping, transporting and trafficking drugs, Siem Reap Provincial Anti-Drug Police’s chief, Major Oum Sa Ath, said.

Police arrested Pudaite on Thursday at 9:40am, Sa Ath said. The suspect allegedly flew from India to Siem Reap, where a connecting flight would take her to Singapore.

“She was arrested at Siem Reap International Airport when police checked her luggage and found that there was a big package of drugs hidden inside it,” Sa Ath said.

The meth found in Pudaite’s luggage weighed about 3.38 kilograms, Sa Ath said. If found guilty, Pudaite may face 20 years to life in prison and a fine of between 40 million riel and 100 million riel ($10,000 to $25,000). Less than two weeks ago, four Thai women were sentenced in Phnom Penh to life after being found guilty of smuggling more than eight kilograms of cocaine from Ecuador and Ghana last August.

Neither Judith nor a representative from the Indian embassy in Phnom Penh could be reached for comment yesterday.

Police said the arrest was initially kept under wraps because they were investigating other potential suspects.

Provincial anti-drug police are currently working in collaboration with customs and immigration police to strengthen efforts to prevent drug smuggling through Siem Reap airport, Sa Ath said.

Last August, police arrested Bertumen Edgar Celocial, 39, of the Philippines and a 29-year-old Thai woman named Naphaphon for allegedly smuggling 3.4 kilograms of methamphetamine into Siem Reap airport.

About a month later, Thai national Inthanu Suphee, 42, a reputed member of an international drug trafficking ring, was arrested at the same airport allegedly attempting to transport 5.6 kilograms of crystal meth, originally from India to Thailand.


  • 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,