A Nigerian And A Romanian Arrested For Drug-Trafficking In Cambodia

Two foreign nationals – a Romanian and a Nigerian – will be sent to Phnom Penh Municipal Court today on charges of drug trafficking after police alleged the pair tried to enter the country with more than five kilograms of cocaine from Brazil.

Lieutenant General Mok Chito, deputy chief of the National Police’s anti-drug commission, said 35-year-old Romanian national Varadi Adrian Calin was detained at Phnom Penh International Airport after disembarking from a flight from Brazil. Officials found 4,961.69 grams of Colombian cocaine in his bags.

After interrogating him, police searched for and arrested Chukwue Meka, 35, who they say was in charge of smuggling the cocaine from Cambodia to Thailand.

Lt. Gen. Chito said his office worked with the US Drug Enforcement Administration to catch the two men before the drugs could be transported to another country.

“We were informed from an international organization that there was a suspect involved in drug trafficking who departed from Brazil and was coming to Cambodia,” he said.

“We seized almost five kilograms of cocaine,” Lt. Gen. Chito added. “This drug was transported from Brazil and the traffickers would use Cambodia as a transit country, before being sent to Thailand. The cocaine is from Colombia.”

Lt. Gen. Chito said the ringleader of the operation is still in Brazil, and police were looking for other people who may be involved in the drug ring. Both men will be sent to court today.

Cambodia is often used as a transit point for drug traffickers in Asia due to its less-than-stringent airport checks compared with other countries. In late March, a 22-year-old Thai woman flying from Qatar was found with 2.6 kilograms of cocaine hidden in a chocolate container.

Another Thai man was caught transporting three kilograms of methamphetamine from Laos to Trapaing Chhouk village in Phnom Penh last Tuesday. After raiding his home in Sen Sok’s Phnom Penh Thmey commune, police seized two 660-gram packages of heroin, nine packets of methamphetamine weighing six kilograms, 52,000 speed tablets weighing about 10 kilograms and two luxury cars.

In all, police seized about 20 kilograms of drugs from the man, who claimed he had smuggled most of it from Laos earlier this year.