DEA Tip-Off Leads to Suspected Drug Mule Arrest

A South African man was arrested at Phnom Penh International Airport after arriving from Brazil on Friday morning having swallowed what is believed to be about 50 thumb-sized pellets of cocaine, police said on Sunday.

Sary Botsatya, a bureau chief at the Interior Ministry’s anti-drug police department, said that Jacobus Dawie Botha, 30, departed from Brazil with the drugs and boarded connecting flights in Dubai and then Bangkok before boarding a flight to Phnom Penh.

“He swallowed the drugs in Brazil,” Mr. Botsatya said, adding that the arrest was the result of a tip-off from the U.S. Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA). “We got the information from the DEA,” he said. “We already had the name.”

Neither the type of drug nor the exact amount have been verified as police were still recovering packages from Mr. Botha’s body as of Sunday.

However, Mr. Botsatya said that while the suspect was being questioned at the anti-drug department, he admitted that the drug was cocaine and that he had swallowed about 50 packages.

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